I never thought reading a printed magazine would lead me to writing about augmented reality. Right before I went on vacation recently, I noticed a stack of print magazines piled up on my desk. Okay, let’s be honest, it was a mini-mountain of magazines just waiting to be read. Why would I have so many print magazines coming to my snail mailbox you ask? Scratching my head, I can say that I do believe in being kind and responsible to our planet. It is not my intention to debate which is better for the environment, print vs. web this time around.
Back to my point, I had this huge stack of non-work related magazines to read. I decided it was time to take these badboys along on the trip. Since it was a road trip, I had room and plenty-o-time to dig in. You should also note that I did recycle them or pass them along to others to enjoy along the way too. You see, reading on the web for me is not always the same experience as holding, touching, feeling, and smelling a printed magazine. Interestingly, I started to really slow down and take in these magazines and read. I said r-e-a-d not skim or speed read for interest and content. I must say a few really had me hooked with tons of fresh info and appealing articles. I even have some new favorites like Whole Living.
I know the magazine industry has taken a hit over the past several years, and they are trying to bridge the gap now. I applaud them for at least trying out new technology. They do that to keep up with what experiences people really want. This is at the heart of good business, right? It’s giving people what they really want. I found myself thinking about real differences in the user experience. I mean drastically different experience. Do people really want an “augmented reality?” Apparently Milwaukee Magazine thinks so.
If you combine the two (a printed magazine with technology), and if that causes you to interact and read the material in a different way, is that really augmenting reality? I am not sure, but this is what Quad/Graphics, Inc. claimed to be doing when they helped Milwaukee Magazine create its first interactive magazine for the October issue using ActableTM Interactive print solutions. According to a Quad/Graphics press release, the magazine features 146 image recognition and augmented reality experiences that readers can launch on their Actable-enabled smartphone, iPad, iPhone or Android.
Check out the videos below to see this in action. I personally wonder if this is a good use of the technology because I seem to want to read a magazine and then search the web if I am really interested in a product or topic. Do you find yourself lost in printed magazines from time to time, or have you totally banned them from life to read on the web? I can’t be alone in my opinion about how reading a good book or long article in a magazine can free the creative mind. The experience can relax my busy multitasking mind through something as simple as thumb flipping, holding and reading a printed magazine.
146 Augmented Reality Experiences In 1 Milwaukee Magazine
Image Credit: [Milwaukee]