Wallpaper magazine is selling its January ‘Next Generation’ issue with an augmented reality cover and has tied with Wolff Olins for a special feature enhanced with AR technology. The cover of the design and fashion magazine springs into life when readers hold it in front of a webcam, which transforms the flat page image of graduate designer Jørund Blikstad’s ‘Wall Cubes’ into 3-D. Readers can rotate and view the shelving from various angles by moving the magazine in front of their computer screen. In its January issue, Wallpaper has also joined forces with international brand and innovation consultancy Wolff Olins to reveal the 10 new developments that could change the world in 2010. These developments are listed in an 11-page feature, in which every page has AR technology, triggering both videos and animation. The list of ten new developments — from augmented reality and virtual currency, to waterproof sand and the reinvention of the wheel — are the things that Wallpaper and Wolff Olins are tipping to make a big impact on the way people work, play, travel and relax in 2010
Hold Esquire’s December issue in front of a webcam, and an on-screen image of the magazine pops to life, letters flying off the cover. Shift and tilt the magazine, and the animation on the screen moves accordingly. Robert Downey Jr. emerges out of the on-screen page in 3-D, offering half-improvised shtick on Esquire’s latest high-tech experiment for keeping print magazines relevant amid the digital onslaught. Esquire’s top editors are clearly enthused about the new technology, called “augmented reality.”
Triggering the animation is a box just below Downey’s cover image, resembling a crossword puzzle and looking a little out of place. The magazine has printed about a half-dozen boxes inside the issue, each calling up a separate interactive feature, plus a couple of ads. The issue will be available nationally by Nov. 16. At a fraught time for the magazine industry, one could draw a lot of conclusions from Esquire’s attempts at innovation: It may be the future of print or just a dying medium’s last desperate grab at attention as the Internet swallows more of peoples’ time.
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