The Star enters digital with AR mobile app

The Philippines Star has stepped into the digital arena in a bid to reach more Filipinos hooked on mobile devices with a first-of-its kind app with augmented reality features.

The Philippine Star app optimizes the print version for mobile consumption. It provides the latest local and international news, in addition to stories and features on its opinion, sports, lifestyle and entertainment sections.

But different with other newspaper mobile apps, Star's version has a unique feature called LiveIt! which lets readers view videos that compliment news items, listen to audio and watch movie trailers, among other content it can provide.

For marketers, Star said that LiveIt! enables them to engage readers better with rich media content paired with ads and a way for them to purchase the actual product advertised via their mobile devices.

LiveIt! will debut starting in next week's issues of the Philippine Star. It was developed by Sven Ingenuity and is available on Apple iOS and Android devices.

While it's not AR in the strictest sense, Miguel Belmonte, Star president and CEO, was right in saying that it offers "a brand-new reading experience and limitless possibilities."

"It's truly something to watch out for as it brings an opportunity for our readers to experience our content in a more engaging and interactive manner. For companies and brands, augmented reality provides them a wider avenue to collaborate with us," Star senior vice president for sales and marketing Lucien Dy Tioco said.