What is it about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue that makes America go gaga?
It’s a combination of things, of course, and this year’s is all the more special thanks to technology.
Just as I was going to press with another hot item tonight, an SI rep sent me details about all the new tech bells and whistles SI is adding to this year’s issue -- the first to be published by Meredith, which bought Sports Illustrated owner Time Inc. for a reported $2.8 billion last month.
The just-out issue is the most immersive experience ever, per the rep. This year’s suite of content includes behind-the-scenes virtual-reality material and augmented-reality stuff, including a 3D hologram of this year’s cover model, Danielle Herrington.
Also on the AR front — portals that let you virtually walk onto the set of an SI Swimsuit shoot, as well as behind-the-scenes videos that launch off the pages of the issue. All of the immersive content is available in the LIFE VR mobile app for iOS and Android. The VR experience will also be made available in LIFE VR’s Samsung VR channel and in the LIFE VR Windows MR app.
Wait, there’s more!
The publisher has also built a custom "World Lens" available for use exclusively on Snapchat. It uses augmented reality to invite anyone to have a taste of the SI model life and put yourself on this year's cover.
Whoa! That’s going way overboard! Nobody wants to see me on this year’s cover. You’ll just have to trust me on that!
To unlock this Lens, focus your Snapchat camera on the Snapcode and press and hold on the screen. The Snapcode will unlock this Lens for 24 hours at a time. Snapchat will also be covering the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit launch party within the app's Discover section on February 14.
Of course, now it all makes sense. Duh. Valentine’s Day. The day we celebrate luv.
Geez, all this tech talk is enough to make your head swim (so to speak).