Japan's Attempt to Get Children to Read Newspapers

Ida Torres, writing for The Japan Daily Press about a new app being created by the Japanese newspaper The Tokyo Shimbun:

A new iPhone app has been developed in Japan to “translate” normal newspaper articles to kid-friendly versions. Through augmented reality, children can hold a smartphone (via the camera) over a newspaper to see a child-friendly version of the text.

The video embedded in the article gives you a good feel for how this would work. The basic idea is to provide content that is engaging and appropriate for the intended audience (in this case, children). Although newspapers (like most print media) are in decline, the fact that this technology should work just as well on screens as it would on print means that this might actually have a solid foundation for the future.

The same technology could be expanded to provide other alternative types of views for audiences besides children. Articles could be translated into other languages, for example. Likewise, it might do well in providing context that is appropriate to the audience by translating technical jargon or explaining cultural colloquialisms.