Recruitment of Research Participants for Next Generation Paper project

Bradt Travel Guides has been invited to take part in a cutting-edge research project being led by academics at the University of Surrey. The research team is aiming to develop what they call ‘next generation paper’ – paper with clever electronics that trigger audio or video files to play on your phone, tablet or TV at relevant points when you are reading a book. Most digital developers seem to assume the book will one day be redundant and that digital content is a challenge to the traditional format. This project recognises that people still greatly enjoy the experience of reading on paper, and so is looking at how digital content might complement rather than replace the book.

The potential advantages for enhancing guidebooks are clear. Smart paper might, for example, allow you to view footage of a festival as you are reading details about that festival in the book, listen to the call of a particular bird species when you reach the book’s section on wildlife or watch artisans at work while reading about local crafts. The research team is therefore working with Bradt to develop an augmented version of our Slow Travel Cornwall guide, a prototype of which they hope to have available next year. 

As part of the project, the team would like to get a better understanding of how tourists currently use technology before, during and after their trips, and are seeking volunteers to share their experiences. Can you help? Below is a call out from Dr Jan van Duppen, who is responsible for this part of the research. If you are willing and able to take part, please do drop him a line!

Have you travelled in the UK and overseas in the last two years? Would you like to share your travel stories with us? We invite you to take part in the research project ‘Next Generation Paper’ by the Open University and the University of Surrey, being run in partnership with Bradt Travel Guides. In a show-and-tell conversation of up to 1 hour and at a mutually convenient location, we would like to hear about your experience of using technology in the planning of your holidays, while you travel and also on your return home. This could be anything from websites and travel guides, to social media and blogs, and holiday photos and videos you’ve collected. If you would like to participate in this study, please get in touch with Dr Jan van Duppen: jan.van.duppen@open.ac.uk You can find more information on the project website here.