2012 Mobile Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

Key Dates

Project Title: AirLink – Bridging print and mobile [DRAFT]


Project Overview

The ground-breaking AirLink technology, developed in house by Fairfax Media, extends the print experience for readers by giving them additional video, photographic and editorial content through their iPhone. AirLink allows readers to see stories come to life across the different sections of the The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald.


Fairfax Media


Fairfax Media CSU team
Fairfax Media Digital Innovation Services
Fairfax Media Technology team
Rick Gleave
Adam Mather
George Wright
Nada Tielu
Mark Dando
Lindsay Winkler
Alexander Deem
William Hewell
CRC Team

Project Brief

The project brief: Bring the stories in our news papers to life with video and picture galleries, without the need to print any special code in the paper (i.e.no need for a barcode or QR-code) in order to maintain the clean design and flow of the paper.
AirLink is supported on iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S

Project Innovation / Need

• Breakthrough technology developed by Fairfax Media following research in partnership with Australian universities (through Smart Services CRC) to recognise the pictures in the paper without the need to print any special code.
• The Sydney Morning herald was the first newspaper in Australia to feature this innovative way to migrate users to mobile.
• The technology is integrated into the free SMH app for iPhone – no need to download and launch a separate scanning app. Downloads of the app have shot up to over 150,000.
• Easy to use, simply scan the paper and sit back and watch the digital content play out.

User Experience

Our user experience designers focused on simplicity in both the App and the instructions and pointers in print. To activate AirLink, readers simply press the AirLink button on the app and scan their iPhone over an image in the paper where they see the AirLink logo. This will seamlessly link the reader through to extra content. This could be a video that relates to that story, an extended photo gallery or a related article.

Project Marketing

We ran a comprehensive consumer marketing push to launch Airlink to newspaper, online and mobile news readers. A half-page wrap around The Sydney Morning Herald newpaper announced the arrival of AirLink. The wrap itself featured an AirLink to a welcome video. Online at smh.com.au, a superhero ad unit announces the arrival of AirLink, accompanied by a video demonstrating the ease of AirLink and how it can further enhance the news experience.

This category recognises migration of an audience from a traditional media to a mobile platform.
More Details