Paperless G7 summit not so smart for some

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2014 5:13 PM

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The Netherlands launched the first "paperless" summit on Monday with a smartphone app at a nuclear security meeting in The Hague replacing the traditional imitation leather conference bag stuffed with handouts.

The app, which is available for Android and Apple smartphones as well as on the web, was developed by summit sponsor ImgZine and boasts live schedule updates, pictures of The Hague, and a GPS-linked map to guide visitors through the ultra-secure maze of buildings where the summit was being held.

Government spokesman Frank Wassenaar said that when the Dutch prime minister had to send someone else at the last minute to attend the Seoul nuclear security summit two years ago, the Koreans had to pulp and reprint 15,000 program booklets.

"We would just send an update to the app," he said.

So, why were not all delegates at the summit in The Hague happy with the onward march of technology?

"There's no version for Blackberry," one lost conference-goer snorted.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Mark Heinrich; editing by Geert De Clercq)