New Yorker magazine features augmented reality cover

13/05/2016

This week’s New Yorker magazine features an augmented reality cover to tie in with its ‘innovators’ issue.

The cover, designed by Christoph Niemann, comes to life through augmented reality, along with inside-cover Qualcomm ads.

The cover’s augmented reality features can be seen when a user views its via a smartphone or tablet and The New Yorker‘s Uncovr app.

The app, available via App Store and Google Play, will make both the front and back side of the magazine appear animated.

A three-dimensional city shows up on the smartphone or tablet — move the camera around, and the AR perspective changes accordingly.

The Uncovr app was made for The New Yorker by Nexus Interactive Arts, a London-based studio.

"The idea of an augmented or virtual reality is inherent in any drawing—it's almost the definition of a drawing," says Niemann, who collaborated with Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker's art editor, on the project. "If you create a world on paper, you create a window. Usually, you just break the surface with your mind, but you always have the feeling of: What if you could step into that world or if something could come out of it?"

He adds: "In a drawing, the barrier between the real world and the made-up world is the surface, so at the very beginning I thought of an elevator with its doors closing. But then I realized that the subway is even better, because it really does take you to a different world. The closing doors are a flat surface that separates two worlds, and so are the covers of a magazine—separating before you read it and after you read it, what you know and don't know, how your views change. So between the front and the back cover, and the experience created by the app, I like that we could show essentially two different angles on the same world. Like stepping through a mirror."

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