'The New Yorker' Innovators Cover Features Augmented Reality

The New Yorker today unveiled its first augmented-reality cover. Triggered by the front and back covers of the magazine’s annual “Innovators Issue," the augmented-reality experience is sponsored by Qualcomm Incorporated.

The A.R. experience is available via Uncovr, an augmented-reality app enabled for iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices.

Once the app is downloaded, readers can hover their mobile device’s camera over the A.R.-enabled pages—the front and back covers of the print edition or Qualcomm’s ads in the issue—and an interactive experience will begin, featuring a winding subway car and vibrant city skyline.

Susan Lansing, vice president of brand at Qualcomm Technologies,  stated that the project showcases “how mobile and connectivity technologies are accelerating innovation across industries.”



She added: “As an advertiser in this issue, we love how mobile technology has come together with The New Yorker’s iconic cover art to bring the future forward in this compelling reader experience.”

Lisa Hughes, publisher and CRO of The New Yorker, told Publishers Daily that the brand prioritizes finding new ways to tell stories and engage with their audience.

“Using this kind of technology reflects just how deeply embedded innovation is in our storytelling process, on both the edit side and on the advertising side,” Hughes told PD.

“It’s enabled us to bring something from the printed page to life through smartphones and tablets—and present a whole new experience for our readers in the process. This AR project felt completely consistent with that mission,” she added.

The covers were designed by Christoph Niemann, a longtime New Yorker contributor, who also collaborated with Françoise Mouly, the magazine's art editor, on the project.

Niemann embedded hidden surprises within the cityscape experience, discoverable by moving and tilting one’s device. The app also allows readers to interact with full-page Qualcomm advertisements found in the front and back of the issue.

For a visual on how it all works, see the explanatory video.

The app was created for The New Yorker by Nexus Interactive arts, a London-based studio.

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