Google-backed beacon tech news service OtherWorld has officially launched in Manchester, beaming highly-targeted, real-time content to smartphones.
The brainchild of start-up studio Like No Other, it uses strategically-placed beacons to trigger stories as people walk past them
It could be a local park telling you it is hosting an event in a few days’ time, team news en-route to a football match, or police appeals or breaking news about your current location.
The free service works on most smart devices and does not require an app to be downloaded.
Adam Comstive, senior marketing and digital officer at National Football Museum, one of the content partners said: “The National Football Museum is excited to partner with OtherWorld.
“Doing so takes our famous collections outside of the museum and on to the busy street for the first time and is a great opportunity to talk to many more passers-by.”
Other partners for the pilot include Greater Manchester Police, Manchester International Festival, Manchester City Council, NHS, Trinity Mirror, Allied London and Spinningfields, Big Issue, Visit Manchester, Co-op, Manchester Histories, local businesses, charities, and arts venues.
Stuart Goulden, lead consultant at Like No Other, said they were pioneering a brand new storytelling format.
Funded by Google’s Digital News Initiative, he hopes the initiative will help fresh audiences discover the news on their doorstep and act on the stories they read.
He added: “[It] brings the digital and physical world together to create a more meaningful experience for readers and audiences.
“It will be interesting to see how Manchester reacts to this new news ecosystem and to pilot an alternative future for local media that can see it thrive once more.”
The pilot will actively target younger audiences – a generation of people who are not currently engaged in local news but live their lives through their mobile phones.
It runs in Manchester from 25 July until the end of the year. Anybody wishing to find out more can do so at www.otherworld.io.
The Digital News Initiative (DNI) is a $150m collaboration between Google and news publishers across Europe to support high quality journalism and encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem through technology and innovation.