This morning I came across a fascinating augmented reality app designed to let kids and their parents read the newspaper together. Kids can download the app, line their phone up with a newspaper article, and watch it on the screen as it transforms into something that readable and enjoyable for a younger audience. Because I don’t read Japanese, it’s a little difficult to see the specific “translations” the app makes, but the promo video demonstrates how it changes and simplifies characters to make reading easier, features animations that make text and images dynamic, and at some points, introduces animated people who read and interact with the child. I love this idea of a kid-friendly lens that reinterprets material for them in real-time. Of course the app’s real mark of success, which the video also alludes to, is that advertisers have eagerly begun formulating content for both children and adult readers: a single ad that specifically targets two different demographics. I’d really like to see the app in action. While the video lauds its ability to bring multiple generations together and enjoy a shared experience, I can’t help but wonder whether the father in the video is actually enjoying helping his son scan articles, or whether he’s mourning the loss of reading the newspaper as his only “me” time of the day.
Finally, a quick note to mention that the agency Dentsu is behind this. They have done a lot of great projects, many of which I’ve earmarked to write about here.
More on the app here.
You can also download it on itunes, then go find yourself a newspaper.