Esquire’s Augmented Reality Issue Hits Newstands

20Nov09

Mens magazine Esquire isn’t going to just sit around and watch print die. Oh no. The people behind the scenes are working hard to come up with ideas that combine digital with the analog. Augmented Reality is what they came up with this year. Tech savvy readers will remember that Esquire pulled a similar marketing stunt last year with their e-paper covers.

Augmented reality is an image embedded in that digital block that you see between Robert Downey Jr’s legs. Yes, the one he’s beckoning you to scan with your webcam. Augmented reality technology allows a camera to be pointed at that little digital barcode that stores information. The camera will then translate that digital pixels into something meaningful to the viewer. So, you hold your magazine up to a webcam, and through a special program, you can see something on that digital barcode that you cannot see in reality, thus the name augmented reality.

The technology is starting to gain traction in the advertising and marketing world. The possibilities are endless, and certainly would engage the reader to connect the analog and digital limitations. Will we see a lot more augmented reality? Absolutely. Is AR going to replace traditional print advertising? Doubtful. The lazy in all of us wouldn’t invest more time into an advertisement unless the AR was polygon of a naked chick. It’s a gimmick for now, only for true tech geeks. Looks like print survives another day.

Esquire

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