BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
Is AR the New QR? Augmented Reality Pioneer Publishes Demo Mag
Friday, June 22, 2012
is available from the company site and when paired with the Layer mobile smartphone app shows what AR can do. From pop-up 3D models to a video activated cover, the magazines works in synch with the app to brings digital enhancements immediately onto the page. (see video at bottom)
AR is nothing new to print, of course. Popular Science, Esquire and others have used the technique is a range of test enhancements. GQ magazine has announced that a number of pages in its September issue will work with a branded companion app to bring “GQ Live” to life.
But Layer’s initiative marks the fledgling AR industry’s more aggressively setting its sights on the print world. Layer has released its Creator web-based tool that lets publishers add AR content to their print pages. At the same time the company announced appointment of a new CEO, Quintin Schevernels, who has roots in both the Internet and print world. He was COO of VNU Media.
The moves suggest a new stage of mobile technology courting the print industry with the promise of enhancing 2D media with interactivity. In recent years, mobile code providers like Microsoft, Digimarc and SnapTag have competed to endear themselves to publishers as preferred mobile activation sources. We may be seeing another wave of similar courtships from augmented reality providers.
Aurasma, the company working with GQ on its upcoming AR implementation, is working with newspapers like The Philadelphia Enquirer and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The newspapers generally run four to five AR activations in each issue.
In some ways AR offers magazines a richer palette than 2D activation codes for enhancing the print experience. While QR codes, watermarks and such generally link a mobile devices to another medium, usually video or a mobile site, AR lays atop the printed page images and multimedia that appear to be part of the print experience. Marvel comics is among the most ambitious publishers of AR-enhanced print. One of their newer titles has AR enhancements in every issue that resemble DVD extras (artist commentary, etc.).
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