Augment it.

I’m talking about augmented reality. And if you’re as confused as I still am, let me take it from the begining.
I’m a regular reader of Dazed & Confused. Ok, no. I’m not a reader, I’m a fan, I’m a stocker, I craved it and drool over the pages. That’s when I physically have it, because I can really only find it when I’m abroad, and when I’m in Bucharest I mainly follow the blog. As you probably know by now I love paper, the sight of it, the feel of it, the smell of it. So you can imagine that the experience of interacting with a magazine, that I’m used to seeing on paper, online I not the same. But it seems that’s not the only added experience that I have to get used to. The March issue of D&C is marketed as the ‘Augmented Reality Collections Special’. What’s that you say? My thoughts exactly. A quick google search on the matter reveals that on wikipedia augmented reality is a reality that’s enhanced by virtual computer-generated imagery’ So I go back to the Dazed Digital to see how they’re making use of this, or how they’re making us use it. Seems that by holding the issue up to a webcam one can generate a set of fashion films done especially for the issue. They even have a ‘How-To’ video on the issue. ‘Ok, that’s interesting’ I think and move on, forgetting about the matter while trying to pretend that I have not noticed how I’m losing grasp of technology.
Yet the issue persists. I buy the latest issue of Pop magazine and what do I see? Why, yes! It’s Augmented Reality again, or AR as we’re fondly calling it now. Now I can actually get my hands in it, literally. There are several markers (geometric, diamond-like drawings) in the magazine that each unlock an online video. There’s a video from the Editor, one with a fashion shoot, one featuring Tavi from Style Rookie and one with the model of the cover, Abbey Lee. The latter is the only one that’s actually interactive as it detects your movements and according to these you can move the cursor in order to open other variations of the video. Oh yes, you have to allow access to your webcam for all of these little experiences. But I’m sure I have not been clear enough on a subject on which I myself am not enlightened yet. Therefore, let my try and illustrate a bit differently . . .

I’m looking forward to any thoughts on the matter. Asside from the obvious ‘where is the World going to’, how do you think this could be implemented even more efficiently by magazines? Is this a way of ensuring that paper will survive the web? Because one could easily unlock a video by using a Paypal account and magazines would still have their accounts balanced . . . etcetc . . . So again, what are we going to do with AR? And what’s it going to do with (to?) us?