PopSci's Augmented Reality Check: A Q&A With Editorial Director Mark Jannot
INBOX: Have you used it since? Are there plans to use it again?
JANNOT: Not yet, but I'm sure we will. As I say, it's not cheap, and so for the time being it's hard to justify the cost if its being implemented on a purely editorial basis. In the near term, it'll probably be used primarily to power creative ad executions. That said, we're in the early stages of developing an innovative Web project, and I'm thinking that we might ultimately use augmented reality to essentially demonstrate that project by having it pop off the pages of the magazine—thus helping to drive traffic and engagement over to the Web.
INBOX: Can you forecast any other ways publishers could conceivably leverage augmented reality?
JANNOT: Esquire did an excellent job of implementing augmented reality in several places throughout its December issue, bringing the cover, a fashion portfolio, and other pages (including one spread ad) to life. They had two different "funny joke from a beautiful woman" videos that sprung off the pages of the magazine; the bawdier one would only play if it was after midnight wherever you happened to be. As I say, the danger is that it ends up being a flash-in-the-pan gimmick, but I really think the lasting strength and impact of the medium is limited only by the creativity of the people who implement it.