philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Why Print Legacies Like Time Are Betting Big on Augmented Reality

time-ar-vr-PAGE-2018Last week’s issue of Time magazine is the first edited by a guest editor in its 94 years of existence. It’s also the first issue to feature augmented reality activations—four of them, all on the issue’s theme of optimism.

According to Mia Tramz, managing editor of Life VR, and Claire Howorth, assistant managing editor of Time, the original impetus to include AR in this issue came from Bono, who wanted his contribution to have an AR or VR component. But the team, which includes the third-party Ryot Labs, had already been brainstorming ideas for over a year, since they had produced a “Capturing Everest” feature for Sports Illustrated. A single AR activation quickly became four.

“We’ve published about 23 or 24 VR projects since we launched Life VR last year,” Tramz said. “In the way that VR was nascent [for media companies] a few years ago, I think AR is right now.” The plan is to continue to develop AR activations across Time, Inc’s line of titles, as well as standalone AR and VR experiences.

“Since you’re using your phone for the activation, it’s almost like having Bono and Bill Gates in your hand,” Tramz said.

“A lot of the response we’ve gotten is, ‘What can we be first at with you? What can we really make an impact with?’

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