The Class of 2013 Union High School yearbook brings technology to hard copy.
When Autumn Underberg agreed to sponsor the yearbook club at Union High School last year, she knew the yearbook would need to meet the needs of the 21st century student.
“This instant gratification generation that we’re in is not going to buy this if it doesn’t have technology in it,” she said.
The 168-plus page yearbook, published through Walsworth Yearbooks, is not only completely in color, but sports a 3-D cover complete with glasses included. But the technology comes into play when students scan a QR code on the inside.
“Last year the kids made a video with one of the teachers, ‘Union Sports Are a Good Time,’ so if you scan that QR code it will automatically take you to that video,” Underberg said.
The QR code takes the reader to a website with the video on it, but the yearbook also contains technology called “augmented reality,” where students can hold their device over certain pictures and a related video will instantly pop up and play.
Augmented reality requires an application called “Yearbook 3D” that can be downloaded from any app store for free.
In the 2013 edition, there are Yearbook 3D photos only in the “Year in Review” section at the end of the yearbook, but Underberg is planning to incorporate more augmented reality photos for 2014.
“Next year it’s going to be things like videos of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new field, homecoming game, courtwarming game and prom,” she said.
Underberg said she prefers using the augmented reality option over the QR codes because with ever-changing technology, someday the videos connected to both the QR codes and the augmented reality could disappear.
“The good thing about the augmented reality is that if the link expires, you are not going to be able to scan it and see the video, but you’re not losing anything because this page is still going to look like this page,” she said. “Even if the technology disappears, the page is still going to look the same.”
Underberg was able to produce the yearbook and still sell them at a reasonable price — $43 for those who ordered in advance. She said there are still plenty of them available for $50, and she expects the price for this year to be only $45 for advanced orders.
The 2014 yearbook also will be in full color, but the “Year in Review” will cost an extra $2.25.
Underberg said she is planning other bits of technology to be incorporated in the 2014 book, but won’t reveal what surprises are in store.
“I’ve set the bar pretty high,” she said. “It’s going to be a challenge to top this one.”