Adobe has released a beta version of the next generation of its Digital Publishing Suite, which enables designers to create interactive apps for the iPad and other mobile devices within InDesign. The new version allows users to take the interactive functionality seen in digital editions such as Wired's iPad app and apply them to print projects.
The company demoed the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine -- which was produced using the software -- and showed video and slideshows playing back within the printed pages. Clicking on URLs opened the website in a browser window on the nearest computer.
Digital Publshing Suite 1.4.11, as the update is called, allows layouts with video, slideshows, buttons and hyperlinks to be outputted to a conventional PDF. This is then sent to a printer, who mixes a key chemcial codenamed FairyDust in with the inks to create the interactive experience. FairyDust was developed by Oberon Inc, a startup based in Athens Country near Los Angeles, which Adobe bought a year ago today.
"This is an incredible achievement," said Adobe's product manager for interactive print Flora Pi Lo told Digital Arts. "Print is the new digital. Or at least, that's what that Robin Goodfellow guy told me when he sold us the company."
The major challenge for designers wanting to use the new suite is how to proof projects on traditional in-house inkjet or laser printers which don't use the FairyDust technology. However, Adobe says that the 'interactive print' experience can be replicated in the studio merely through the use of strong hallucinogens such as peyote.
"I'm beta-testing this as we speak," said Lo. "Woah, is my head turning into that of a donkey?"