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Summary:

Esquire last year used E-Ink for its “digital cover” in an effort to showcase the potential for fusing magazines and technology. Now, the He…

Esquire Interactive Cover

Esquire last year used E-Ink for its “digital cover” in an effort to showcase the potential for fusing magazines and technology. Now, the Hearst publication is trying to hook readers and advertisers with an interactive print issue, the WSJ reports. Aside from featuring Esquire’s frequent cover boy Robert Downey Jr., the December issue’s pages play videos, while photos for a fashion spread contains graphics showing an animated snow flurry. Also, holding up the magazine to a web camera, and then moving and tilting it, prompts more images.

All of this is created with Augmented Technology, which mixes graphic elements superimposed over real images taken with a camera. It all sounds very gimmicky, but with one unidentified WSJ source claiming that Esquire’s use of the AR technology cost “six figures,” it’s a pretty serious promotional stunt. It’s also an example of Hearst’s efforts to create a magazine e-reader that acts more like print. For now, it’ll have to settle for a print mag that tries to resemble a website.

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  1. Can't wait for it! AR seems to be all the rave, even though it's a bit cumbersome going forward

  2. AR has extraordinary potential to link print and online in a meaningful way. Check out http://www.colorsmagazine.com to see how COLORS used it last month.
    Can't see why Esquire spent 6 figures on it though… what did they spend all the money on?

  3. It’s interesting that a publication like Esquire is also getting in on Augmented Reality! It seems to be the way forward, it was once something used in fighter planes and now it’s become mainstream with several new applications launched on the iPhone such as Layer, John Mayer’s: http://www.johnmayer.com/ar new music video implements augmented reality and even the Ultra-thin from Intel: http://tinyurl.com/ykh2bvz which turns an A4 sheet of paper into a laptop…I’m interested to see the impact of these new technologies and how many other companies use it as a medium to reach out.

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