Esquire hopes augmented reality will trick people into reading

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|10.29.09

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Remember that time last year when Esquire embedded an E Ink display in its front cover and everyone you know rushed out to buy one, and how the scheme saved the once-doomed print magazine market? Well, it appears that the periodical (and the industry as a whole) are again in need of a dramatic technological sales boost -- this time in the form of augmented reality. When the mag hits the newsstand on November 7, readers (and their webcams) will be have a chance to scan some QR codes fiduciary markers and partake in the technology that's been known to teach children about architecture and help jaded club kids party underwater -- except this time the unsuspecting public can look forward to seeing Robert Downey Jr. emerge from the front cover to spew what the AP calls "half-improvised shtick on Esquire's latest high-tech experiment for keeping print magazines relevant amid the digital onslaught." With that kind of content -- alongside a computer-animated snowstorm and a dirty joke or two from Gillian Jacobs -- can anybody doubt that traditional media will soon be back on its feet?
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