Masterclassing Connect

Augmented Reality Brings US Media To Life

David Murphy

Two US publishers are trialling the benefits of mobile-based Augmented Reality (AR) to boost reader interaction with editorial features and advertising campaigns, with the backing of the GSM Association (GSMA).
Journal Register, publisher of Connecticut Magazine, and Newsday Media Group, which produces daily amNewYork, have both adopted junaio’s AR browser in an attempt to bring to life both editorial and advertising print content.

As Paul Turcotte, amNewYork publisher, puts it: “Our savvy young audience is hungry for cutting-edge, interactive and mobile technology to become extensions of our brand.” Using junaio’s image recognition and object tracking capabilities, readers of the Thanksgiving Eve issue of the newspaper were able to access enriched content, complete with 3D animations, such as floating balloons, as well as the paper’s crossword solution, simply by pointing their junaio-equipped phone at the publication.

Similarly, the December issue of Connecticut Magazine is set to provide viewers with mobile editorial copy adorned with seasonal snowflakes, as well as AR-enhanced print ads. Mobile users will be able to scan these ads to access videos and further interactive features, including recipes, for example, as a way of countering the current slump in traditional on-page advertising.

“AR technology provides us another way to leverage the power of our brands and engage our readers and advertisers,” says John Paton, CEO, Journal Register. “Connecticut Magazine’s readers will see, both from our editorial offerings and through our advertising partners, how AR adds new dimensions to what they are reading.”
Both publishers have expressed an interest in rolling out AR across their titles in greater depth, with amNewYork’s Turcotte stating: “This partnership with junaio is an example of how traditional print media will continue to be a point of entry for consumer to interact in digital formats.”

The GSMA is also keen to test AR-enhanced ads across a selection of publications including TIME, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and more besides.

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