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New tech nests in The Eyrie

Thursday, Feb. 6 | By Hannah Dellinger
From left, The Eyrie yearbook staff members Kaitlyn Butland, Jackie Nungesser, and Jaire Roberts plan their next work, which will include mobile device-activated elements. Fauquier Times Staff Writer/Hannah Dellinger
Fauquier High School’s next yearbook will hum with the trappings of the 21st century.

It will make use of the quick response (QR) codes that have grown in traditional media. But the school's yearbook staff also wants to add a layer of “augmented reality” to their opus.

“Multiple yearbook companies have done surveys, that have shown that the year book isn’t going anywhere,” said FHS yearbook advisor, Nicole Schiffhauer.

“People like a tangible yearbook that they can page through, that they can have their friends actually sign with their own hand writing. But, a tangible yearbook, with digital technology in it, is pretty amazing, and people like that.”

Augmented reality lets someone with a mobile device view the pages through a camera. Sounds, pictures and videos will pop out over the pages onto the device, Schiffhauer said.

“You will be able to use your smart phone [with a download-able app] to scan the cover of our yearbook and it’ll come to life,” said Schiffhauer. “Kind of like in the movie, Harry Potter, when their newspapers come to life, our year book will do the same thing.”

Schiffhauer first learned about augmented reality at a yearbook camp this past summer. The publishing company that she works with, Walsworth, is helping with implementing the augmented reality features. The yearbook staff is filming and editing the footage, and Walsworth will assist in inserting it in the book.

“Creating augmented reality isn’t easy,” said Schiffhauer. “You have to line up pictures and you have to make sure everything matches or it’s not going to read correctly. We’re thinking that this year, since it’s new to us, we’re just gonna do it on the cover and try to do it on all of the divider pages.”

The yearbook staff is experience slight technological difficulties with the equipment that is available to them. Schiffhauer said that they started with using the library’s video camera, but since it wasn’t compatible with their editing system, iMovie, they have started using one of the student’s Flip cameras.

“We kind of have limited resources, but we’re trying to make it work,” said Shiffhauer.

If all of the kinks get worked out, Schiffhauer says that the front of the year book will either have an interactive moving mascot or will look like an iPod with shuffling photographs.

The yearbook will include QR codes that can be scanned with a smart phone app and will send the viewer to a related website or YouTube video. The videos will most likely include interviews with students about what it means to them to be a “Falcon.”

The QR codes will be placed in the book’s index with photos, in order to liven up what would ordinarily be a standard section of words and numbers. Schiffhauer said that this strategic placement of the QR codes will have students looking through each and every page of the book.

With the availability of free QR code generators online, the students will be able to generate the QR codes themselves. The staff is considering the possibility of designing QR codes with images (like a falcon) within them.

Lillian Young, a junior at FHS and a yearbook staff member, said that the new elements of the yearbook will draw in more students.

“Considering that our generation and the current day is so absorbed with technology, I think that it’ll be good,” said Young. “It’ll be something new for our yearbook. It will capture more students and get more people into our yearbook.”

Kaitlyn Butlend, a senior at FHS and a yearbook staff member, said that since the yearbook has already received awards it is important for them to continue to push the envelope.

“Since we’re returning trophy class winners, we’re always looking for new things that we can one-up our own success,” said Butlend.

Justine Gonzales, a sophomore at FHS and a yearbook staff member, believes that this year’s book will be a refreshing surprise to the students.

“Most people aren’t expecting it,” said Gonzales. “It’s also a new thing that not a lot of yearbooks have. So, I think it’ll be really unique for our yearbook.”

Rachael Hudson a junior at FHS and a yearbook staff member, said that these new features will help increase yearbook sales.

“Everbody’s gonna wanna buy [the yearbook,]” said Hudson. “Technology is just getting better and better. If we incorporate new technology, people will want the yearbook even more.”

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