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The World’s First Mobile Augmented Reality Special Magazine Edition

Within a few years, it will be common to use a mobile phone to interact with magazines in order to gain access to exclusive content. To give us a glimpse of what the future holds, Metaio has been working hard with SZ Magazine to give their readers an augmented reality experience they’ll never forget.

Tomorrow, over 550,000 households in Germany will get the latest edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung`s supplement magazine, which when viewed with Metaio’s junaio browser (available free for Android and iPhone) will reveal special content. What makes this project unique is it’s not just the cover or a few pages, but the entire magazine has been devoted to augmented reality.

The cover of the magazine shows Sandra Maischberger, the well-known TV personality, hiding behind her raised hands. When viewed through the smartphone`s camera, however, the popular TV host appears smiling cheerfully at the viewer. Inside is a photo “interview without words” with Lena Meyer-Landrut, who recently won the European Song Contest. When looked at through the smartphone little speech bubbles appear with jibes and comments she couldn`t help making during the shooting (see image 1 + 2). The famous column of Axel Hacke triggers a fantastic 3D animation by the illustrator Dirk Schmidt. Finally, the editors and journalists of the SZ Magazine reveal their favorite spots in Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg in a virtual city guide. Readers in those cities, who hold up their smartphone will see the camera view augmented with indicators pointing out restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, and hotels around them (see image 3), courtesy of SZ Magazine.

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Dr. Dominik Wichmann, editor in chief of the SZ Magazine, comments about the AR special issue: “The SZ Magazine always tries to extend journalistic frontiers. We don`t just write about new cultural or technical developments, we practice them. Instead of just reporting on Augmented Reality (AR), we have developed with the help of metaio a magazine issue which for the first time allows our readers to actually experience this new technology within a journalistic format.”

Jan Schlink of metaio adds: “Our technology leads to new opportunities for combining and displaying information from different sources. With imagination and creative applications, Augmented Reality can not only be fun but become a real opportunity for news organizations to present interesting content in unusual ways.”

If you don’t live in Germany and want to try out some of the natural feature tracking technology (along with lots of other great functionality), then install the junaio browser from either the Android Marketplace or Apple AppStore and follow the link here for junaio glue.

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