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Entries in Talking Newspapers (1)

Monday
Sep272010

Talking Newspapers Startle Readers in India

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(INDIA) -- The Times of India and The Hindu, two of the largest papers in the world, created quite a stir on Tuesday when they released a special advertisement in their daily papers. When readers opened the paper to the back page, a light-sensitive, voice-activated chip began reading out why you should buy Volkswagen's new sedan, the Vento. The "talking" advertisement was an audio rendering of the print commercial, similar to a radio ad.

Unsuspecting readers bolted upright when the advertisement voice activation began. In many parts of the country, there were unintended consequences from startled readers.  The police in Delhi received numerous calls, particularly from elderly Indians, who were frightened and suspicious of the talking newspaper.  In Mumbai, the bomb squad was called out when passersby became suspicious of noises coming from discarded newspapers in trash bins.  Some readers thought they were hearing the voice of a ghost.  The police commissioner of Mumbai, Sanjeev Dayal, released a statement asking people not to be fearful of the new technology.

The 2.2 million copies soon became a sought-after collector's item. The executive president of the Times Group, Bhaskar Das, called the advertisement an innovation that could change the way print media is viewed.

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ABC News Radio