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Augmented reality expands magazine content

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Augmented reality technology is highlighted on the front covers of three leading UK magazines this month.

The technology has previously been used by both brands and retailers as a way to show shoppers how luxury goods such as jewellery and watches would look on them – without them having to leave the comfort of their home.

Now Zappar’s augmented reality app is bringing the covers of Hearst Corporation UK titles Company, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar to life, giving readers extra content at the same time.

Readers will be able to download the Zappar app from iTunes or the Android marketplace to watch a behind-the-scenes clip of the Harper’s Bazaar front-cover shoot, featuring top models Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Yasmin Le Bon and Helena Christensen. The issue goes on sale on Thursday.

From next Monday, those using the app will be able to see Jessie J talking to them about the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards, as well as editor Louise Court introducing the issue. And on November 10, Company’s augmented reality extra editorial will include TV presenter Caroline Flack introducing readers to its Little Black Dress December issue, and Company editor Victoria White introducing readers to the issue.

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive, Hearst Magazines UK said: “Interacting with our readers beyond the printed page is a key part of our business strategy so we are delighted to be partnering with Zappar to bring this exciting and innovative technology to our portfolio of brands.

“This partnership further demonstrates the many ways in which we can enhance our brands, from apps to mobile sites, providing our readers and web users with that all important multi-media, interactive experience.”

Caspar Thykier, managing director for Zappar said: “We are thrilled to be working with Hearst Magazines UK on such iconic brands showcasing exclusive content. The potential for future publishing and content delivery models using Zappar are fascinating. Being able to explore these avenues with such a fantastic stable of brands is a real privilege.”

Our view: Retailers and brands have already found out some of what augmented reality has to offer their brands but as yet we’ve not seen it in mainstream use. At Internet Retailing we’re interested to see these alternative explorations of what contribution the technology, which effectively links the printed with the online, can make.

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