Augmented Reality could be the future of Pape

Image: Example of a next-generation paper book
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Credit: Courtesy of Advanced Technology Institute

According to researchers at the University of Surrey, augmented reality could enable printed books to make a comeback against the e-book trend.

Surrey has unveiled the third generation (3G) version of its Next Generation Paper (NGP) project, allowing the reader to read information on the printed paper and the screen side-by-side.

dr Radu Sporea, Lecturer at Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), comments:

“The way we consume literature has changed over time, with so many more options than just paper books. There are currently several electronic solutions, including e-readers and smart devices, but no hybrid solution that is sustainable on a commercial scale.

“Augmented Books, or A-Books, may be the future of many book genres, from travel and tourism to education. This technology is designed to help the reader gain a deeper understanding of the subject being written and learn more through digital means without ruining the experience of reading a paper book.”

Energy efficiency and pre-printed conductive paper are some of the new features that allow Surrey’s expanded books to now be produced on a semi-industrial scale. With no wiring visible to the reader, Surrey’s augmented reality books allow users to trigger digital content with a simple gesture (such as a finger swipe or page turn), which is then displayed on a nearby device are displayed.

George Bairaktaris, postgraduate researcher at the University of Surrey and part of the Next Generation Paper project team, said:

“The original research was done to enrich travel experiences by creating enhanced travel guides. This improved 3G model allows the use of augmented books for various fields such as education. In addition, the new model bothers the reader less by automatically recognizing the open page and triggering the multimedia content.”

“What started as an augmented book project evolved into scalable user interfaces. The techniques and knowledge gained from the project led us to explore organic materials and printing techniques to produce scalable sensors for interfaces beyond the A-book.”

More information about the updated 3G augmented reality book will appear in the IEEE Pervasive Computing magazine, which can be found here.


Notes for editors

  • The research on the 2G “Augmented Reality Book” was started in 2019 by Dr. Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh published in e-Review of Tourism Research

  • More information about this research can be found here:

  • dr Radu Sporea is available for interviews upon request

  • Contact the university press office at

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