Next generation paper: Connecting paper to the web

This multidisciplinary project aims to explore the future of paper and its connection to the web. It will do so in the domain of travel and tourism where paper and screen-based information are already used together in the tourist experience.

Pictures and papers on a black background

The project proposal was in response to a call on ‘Content creation and consumption in the digital economy’. It aims to create new technology and business opportunities in the publishing and tourism industries. It will do this by using augmented reality and printed electronics to connect paper to the web, in what the team call second generation (2G) and third generation paper (3G).

If today’s ordinary paper is considered first generation (1G) paper, then 2G paper will be optically recognised with a camera, triggering associated digital information to be played or displayed on a nearby device.

3G paper will dispense with the camera and contain tiny sensors printed or embedded in the fibres of the paper itself. This will trigger the same kind of associations around it. In this way, paper documents and books could have hotlinks to webpages, audio, video clips and so on that could play on speakers or screens around them. The team will be looking at how this could change and connect the use of paper and screen-based information in tourism, where tourist brochures and guides already co-exist with mobile apps, digital photography and online booking systems.

More information is available in this press release

 A key feature of the project is that it will be investigating new business models for next generation paper, alongside building and testing the technology itself. This means that we will be working closely with our industrial partners on options for commercialisation and establishing industry standards.

The project team

This includes five groups at Surrey and one at the Open University. The project is led by Prof David Frohlich.

  • Digital World Research Centre (DWRC), Prof David Frohlich, Dr Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh, Alexandra Brown
  • School of Hospitality and Tourism, Prof Caroline Scarles
  • Centre for Vision Speech & Signal Processing (CVSSP), Prof Mirek Bober, Haiyue Yuan
  • Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), Dr Radu Sporea, Brice Le Borgne
  • Surrey Centre for the Digital Economy (CODE), Prof Alan Brown, Megan Beynon
  • Department of Geography, Open University, Dr George Revill, Dr Jan van Duppen.

Non-academic partners include:

  • Bradt Travel Guides
  • Emirates Holidays UK
  • HP
  • Librios Web Publishing
  • Otava Publishing Company
  • Ifolor Photo Printing
  • Novacentrix 

Funding

The project is funded by a grant of £1.17m from the Digital Economy programme administered by EPSRC, and will start on the 1st November 2017 for 30 months. 

Outputs

In the press

June 2018:

November 2017:

May/June 2017:

Publications

Frohlich, D.M. (2017) From audiopaper to next generation paper. WebMedia 2017: Proceedings of the 23rd Brazilian Symposium on Multimedia and the Web Pages 9-10. New York: ACM Press. DOI: 10.1145/3126858.3133310 

Presentations

Frohlich, D.M. (2017) From audiopaper to next generation paper. Keynote presentation to Webmedia 2017, 17-20th October 2017, Gramado, Brazil.

Exhibitions

Paper Magic, COMM Museum of Communication, The Hague, June-December 2018

Contact us

Find us

Address
Digital World Research Centre
Alan Turing Building
University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey
GU2 7XH