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Esquire re-invigorates publishing with augmented reality

Esquire re-invigorates publishing with augmented reality

It’s time to get excited about magazines again. The National Magazine company is championing augmented reality with its December edition of Esquire.

Readers will be able to hold the US edition in front of a webcam and an on-screen image of the magazine will, spring to life with letters flying off the cover.

As the magazine is shifted and tilted, the animation on the screen will move accordingly while cover star Robert Downey Jr. emerges out of the on-screen page in 3-D.

The animation is triggered by a box located just below Downey's cover image which resembles a crossword puzzle and hits news stands on November 16.

An additional six boxes have been printed inside the issue, each calling up a separate interactive video feature.

Esquire's regular men's fashion spread is transformed on screen, the model pelted by a computer-animated snow storm. Rotating the page a quarter, the weather turns sunny and the model starts dressing with summer clothes.

Meanwhile magazine's regular ‘Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman’, feature gets a new twist from actress Gillian Jacobs dressed in a gray nightie. Come back after midnight and she tells a second. ‘dirtier’ joke.

NatMags is keeping tightlipped on how much the special edition of the magazine is costing to publish but Esquire Editor-in-Chief David Granger has admitted the issue is costing more than usual to put together.

Lexus is absorbing some of the cost with two video trigger ads in the publication and while Grange added the magazine wouldn’t be able to use the technology every month, he did say he hoped to uses it as often as possible.

"I got so sick of people talking about old media versus new media,” Granger told Associated Press.

“I wanted to prove that print is still kind of cool. I think of it as kind of our job to show people the strength of our medium."

It’s been hailed as a clever move in re-igniting interest in Esquire, and the magazine industry in general.

The number of ad pages Esquire sold in the first half of 2009 fell to roughly 319, down 26 percent from 431 the year before, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

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