Posted on April 28, 2017 by staff

Google-backed OtherWorld ‘could change news forever’


A Google-backed initiative could change the way people consume and distribute news in Manchester through beacon technology.

Start-up studio Like No Other announced its OtherWorld project earlier this year, and aims to beam location-based news to mobile phones.

It will provide on-the-go news stories relevant to an individual’s location without the need for an app.

Labelling the concept as ‘living media’, lead consultant Stuart Goulden believes the tech opens up a wealth of new storytelling possibilities.

He said: “People will be going about their everyday lives with Bluetooth enabled on their phone, and they will simply discover content and stories they never knew existed.

“And that content could be anything from a traditional hard news story, to a charity telling its story, to a local business perhaps presenting an offer, to an event telling you it’s going to be occurring in a nearby park in a week’s time.”

It is scheduled to launch in July, and Goulden is quite fluid as to what OtherWorld might eventually become, but expects the public to play a large part in its development.

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: “We’re trying to create a news ecosystem from scratch.

“It will be stronger by inviting more and more people to get involved, and that involvement could be simply letting us know what stories they think need a larger audience.”

“Many sectors have woken up to the potential of beacons and are doing some interesting things in the space, however it’s relatively uncharted territory in news.

“We think it’s a potential game changer.”

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.