Augmented Reality leverages digital technology to add interactivity to traditionally flat experiences, and it has been very slowly gaining traction. So far, mostly fashion retailers, pop-culture and media purveyors (magazines, films, gaming), and other digital pioneers have experimented with AR. Last December, InStyle UK used an AR app to bring a cover to life, and just this past September GQ used AR to create an interactive Tim Tebow cover. Now, the technology is being used in the book publishing industry.
Photographer Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt have used AR to add dimension to their new book The Human Face of Big Data. TIME columnist Tim Bajarin explains how AR has enhanced the experience of reading Smolan and Erwitt’s book: “Some pictures in the book have a little yellow key symbol in the corner which, when recognised by your mobile device using the app, videos, TED Talks, and relevant info about what you are viewing. Each video, talk, and animation adds great depth and additional understanding to the narrative.”
Bajarin adds, “Seeing AR applied to pictures, stories, posters, and other types of print media emphasises how it truly provides the world of publishing with a richer way to tell stories. I believe it will deliver a new and innovative angle to centuries-old printed media.”
Goes to show that as writers we need to think about how we can enhance the experience of reading/consuming our work in the digital age. It’s not just about the words on the page anymore. The story is so much bigger now.