This week’s New Yorker magazine features an augmented reality cover to tie in with its “innovators” issue.
The cover, designed by Christoph Niemann, is brought to life through augmented reality, as well as Qualcomm advertisements inside the cover.
The cover’s augmented reality features can be seen when a user views it through a smartphone or tablet and The New Yorker’s Uncovr app.
The app, available through the App Store and Google Play, will animate the front and back of the magazine.
A three-dimensional city appears on the smartphone or tablet – move the camera and the AR perspective changes accordingly.
The Uncovr app was designed for The New Yorker by Nexus Interactive Arts, a London-based studio.
“The idea of an augmented or virtual reality is inherent in any design – it’s almost the definition of a design,” says Niemann, who collaborated with New Yorker editor Françoise Mouly on the project. “If you create a world on paper, you create a window. Usually you just break the surface with your mind, but you always have the feeling of: What if you could come into this world or something could come out of it?
He adds: “In a drawing, the barrier between the real world and the invented world is the surface, so at the very beginning I thought of an elevator whose doors closed. But then I realized that the metro is even better, because it really takes you into a different world. Closing doors are a flat surface that separates two worlds, just like the covers of a magazine – separating before you read it and after you read it, what you know and don’t know, how your views change . So between the front and back covers, and the experience created by the app, I like the fact that we can basically show two different angles on the same world. Like walking through a mirror.