Today’s PCN comes alive

In the Harry Potter movie incoming students are given the school newspaper when they arrive at Hogwarts. It’s no ordinary newspaper, as the photos on the page are actually movies that play while the paper is being read.

Impossible? Well, not really and today’s Potter County News brings you the future of newspapers with a Harry Potter-like new feature that will be used in both stories and advertisements.

This new feature allows for Deeper content. Yes, our photos can actually move. Ads can talk. And it all starts with your copy of the News.

In a dramatic move that promises to delight readers and advertisers alike, the Potter County News is harnessing augmented reality (AR) technology to bring its pages to life.

The News is one of the first newspapers in the state, and even one of the first in the nation, to implement this technology.

This groundbreaking interactive news initiative by the News allows readers to use their smartphones to access a deeper level of content. After downloading our free app, readers simply hold their Android or iPhone device over photos, blocks of text or advertisements that have a small logo of our app on them to launch the interactive experience. Go to your device’s app and search for “Potter County News” to download our free app, or a QR code inside this issue of the News can also be used to download the free app.

“With this incredible new tool, our readers can use their phone as a launch pad to view videos of Gettysburg High School sports teams, explore different dimensions of a news story and even view a menu of a local restaurant, make reservations or shop for a vehicle,” said Molly McRoberts, managing editor of the News. “The possibilities are endless. With just a smartphone, the traditional newspaper becomes a 21st Century interactive experience. We can even use the technology on printed products and promotional products our customers buy from us.”

Unlike virtual reality, AR does not require the use of special glasses, computers or other accessories, McRoberts said. Its power lies in the ability to access digital imagery on the printed page just by using a smartphone.

By downloading the free app and giving the app access to your camera, photos and microphone when loading, your phone turns the newspaper into a portal for accessing limitless opportunities in a reader’s local community and beyond.

AR is perhaps best known for its 2016 application in the wildly popular Pokemon Go game. Nissan recently launched an AR experience that lets shoppers view cars through a device that delivers guided tours of automobile features by Star Wars droids and Stormtroopers. With that application, however, consumers need to visit a showroom. 

With the News’s new app, users can enjoy AR while eating their oatmeal and reading the News at their breakfast table.

The technology also holds tremendous appeal for advertisers, as businesses will now be able to layer video, audio and other features behind an advertisement in the pages of the newspaper, enhancing their ability to attract customers.

It also holds much promise for other applications, such as talking business cards, labels, rack cards, brochures and advertising promotional products that the News sells. 

“The possibilities are endless. This application is bound only by a person’s imagination,” said McRoberts.

The new AR technology will be used as well in News’ sister publications, the Mobridge Tribune in Mobridge and the West River Eagle in Eagle Butte.

“I’ve been involved in the newspaper business for 39 years and I never would have dreamed a technology like this would come along to bring the printed page alive,” said Potter County News Publisher Larry Atkinson. “When I started in newspapers, we were still melting lead to form letters to be used in printing the papers. We advanced to using computers and now we are so excited to introduce AR to our readers and advertisers.”

The News introduces AR in this issue. Instructions are given inside on how to acquire the app so you can see how the pages of your News come alive. Simply look for the small logo of our app on the page and use your phone to bring it alive. Be sure to trigger the ad on page 16 of this issue to see extra information available with your app. 

Those who need assistance are welcome to stop in at the News for help.

“It really is an easy process. Everybody seems to have a smart phone these days and that’s all it takes to bring their newspaper alive,” McRoberts said. “We are truly honored to be among the first in the world to bring this new AR to the newspaper world, and we look forward to exploring the endless possibilities of what this new technology can offer our readers. We invite your ideas as well in our journey into the future of newspapers.”

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