This December, Esquire releases its “Augmented Reality Issue.”
“Augmented Reality” means that holding black-and-white squares in the magazine up to a computer’s camera triggers online content, thus augmenting the reality of a print magazine with the promise of brief web videos.
On the cover, poor Robert Downey Jr. straddles a sticker that unlocks the magic of the internet.
The Esquire editors do kind of keep it real, however:
“It is a gimmick, but we’re an entertainment medium,” says editor-in-chief David Granger.
“We’ve been trying to do things that cause people to re-evaluate what a magazine is and get people excited about this thing called print.”
A person familiar with the matter said the cost for the AR applications was in the “six figures.”
Gimmicks are all well and good, but this one seems only marginally less dopey than 3-D glasses.