Paperboy app: Take a photo of newspaper article to find the digital edition

An app which uses image recognition technology to allow a reader to take a photo of a newspaper or magazine story on an iPhone or Android phone and use it to search for the digital article will be launched for UK titles next month.

Kooaba, the company behind the Paperboy app, has partnered with NewspaperDirect to enable print to digital linking for 2,000 titles worldwide. Around 50 UK titles are available digitally via NewspaperDirect and are therefore likely to be the publications available via the app. The full list includes the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and Daily Mail, plus regional newspapers such as the Kentish Gazette, Birmingham Mail and Evening Standard.

In addition to taking a photo on a phone and using image recognition on the text to find the digital article, newspapers can also print a link which app users can snap to lead them to additional multimedia content, such as video.

The roll-out of the ability to find digital from print using the Paperboy app has started with this list of newspapers based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is planning add UK titles in November.

The Kooaba blog explains how the technology works.

Paperboy connects printed media to the digital world with one click: All the application’s powerful image recognition technology needs is a photo taken by a smartphone camera of an article or page in a newspaper or magazine. Paperboy then matches the photo to the images in Kooaba’s sizeable library of printed media or identifies that page or article from NewspaperDirect’s inventory of over 2,000 same-day, digital newspapers replicas. Users can then share, email or archive the electronic version on the go, anywhere, anytime or explore related information like videos, images or links to selected topics. Paperboy automatically finds URLs on pages of print publications. In some publications, exclusive Paperboy content is for pages with the Shutter icon.

This video gives examples of how readers could find it useful, such as taking a photo of a recipe to locate the digital version, which could then be saved to Evernote or shared via Twitter.

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