"Paper Towel Dispenser News" Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Ralphie Aversa

As newspaper companies try to figure out ways to survive in the evolving world of media, one company is completely reinventing the way news is printed on paper.

For that matter, even the paper itself is changing drastically.

FCB Mexico, a division of the global advertising agency, teamed up with newspaper Máspormás for "Paper Towel Dispenser News." The device that enables this new outlet of print journalism is exactly what its name sounds.

Start with your typical paper towel dispenser, as seen in a bathroom or around your office. Now connect that dispenser to the Internet via Wi-Fi, specifically to a Máspormás’ news feed. Then install a printer that uses special nonsmudge ink into the dispenser.

The final product, as demonstrated on YouTube, is a mix between a paper towel dispenser and an up-to-the-minute news ticker. The dispenser uses the now-common technology of motion activation to begin the printing.

But the device has objectives outside of simply keeping consumers updated on the latest headlines. A Quick Response Code, also known as a QR code, is placed on each printout. If you scan the code with your phone, you are sent to the Máspormás’ website for more news. According to a demo video posted on YouTube, the paper saw unique visitors to its site increase 37% over the first two weeks that the dispensers were used.

"Paper Towel Dispenser News" can be found throughout offices, malls, and theaters in Mexico City. The ad agency and newspaper worked with Mexico-based company Plim on both the design and technology involved with the dispenser.