While there have been dramatic increases in the use of digital technologies for information storage, processing and delivery over the last twenty years, the affordances of paper have ensured its retention as a key information medium. Despite predictions of the paperless office, paper is ever more present in our daily work as reflected by the continuously increasing worldwide paper consumption. Many researchers have argued for the retention of paper as an information resource and its integration into cross-media environments as opposed to its replacement. This has resulted in a wide variety of projects and technological developments for digitally augmented paper documents over the past decade.

Our information-centric approach for a tight integration of paper and digital information is based on extending an object-oriented database management system with functionality for cross-media information management. The resulting iServer platform introduces funda-mental link concepts at an abstract level. Only the media-specific portion of these general concepts, for example the specification of a link's source anchor, has to be implemented in the form of a plug-in to support new resource types. This resource plug-in mechanism results in a flexible and extensible system where new types of digital as well as physical resources can easily be integrated and, more importantly, cross-linked to the growing set of supported multimedia resources. In addition to the associative linking of information, our solution allows for the integration of semantic metadata and supports multiple classification of information units. iServer can, not only link between static information entities, but also link to active content and this has proven to be very effective in complex interaction design.

As part of the European project Paper++, under the Disappearing Computer Programme, an iServer plug-in for interactive paper has been implemented to fully integrate paper and digital media, thereby gaining the best of the physical and the digital worlds. It not only supports linking from physical paper to digital information, but also enables links from digital content to physical paper or even paper to paper links. This multi-mode user interface results in highly interactive systems where users can easily switch back and forth between paper and digital information. We introduce different approaches for cross-media infor-mation authoring where information is either compiled by established publishers with an expertise in a specific domain or by individuals who produce their own cross-media infor-mation environments. Preauthored information can be combined with personally aggre-gated information. A distributed peer-to-peer version of the iServer platform supports colla-borative authoring and the sharing of link knowledge within a community of users.

Our fundamental concepts for interactive paper and cross-media information management have been designed independently of particular hardware solutions and modes of interaction which enables the iServer platform to easily adapt to both new technologies and applications. Finally, the information infrastructure that we have developed has great potential as an experimental platform for the investigation of emerging multimedia re-sources in general and interactive paper with its possible applications in particular.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBooks on Demand GmBH
Number of pages276
ISBN (Print)978-3-8370-2713-6
StatePublished - Aug 2017

ID: 32761568