New York Times Moves Into The Future With Augmented Reality App

Not even a month after we saw TIME release an augmented reality (AR) issue, we now have yet another reputable a long standing print publication make the incredible jump into AR. This time the New York Times have announced their brand new app, which will enable future issues of the New York Times to have AR enhanced articles.

The New York Times have explained that the AR enhanced articles are “extending stories beyond the inches of a screen, by digitally adding objects into your space at real scale. And those objects — a border wall or a work of art — can have provocative explanatory value, because you can get close to them.”

The app will allow you to summon an augmented reality honor box, a newspaper vending machine, in 3D using the camera of your iPhone or iPad. You can move around the box, place it on the floor, or on a desk, and expand the size of it rapidly.

Of course, the purpose of the app isn’t simply to summon an outdated vending machine. Next week an issue of The Times will debut an AR article about the Winter Olympics, and the app will allow you to see athletes in three dimensions and from different angles using the AR app. It’s a fascinating move that, much like the TIME issue from before, looks to revolutionise the way we see print journalism.

We’ve seen AR magazines before of course, like the educational and child centric NUSHU, which aims to make news and subjects more interesting for children.

The New York Times describe AR as; “a new pathway that can lead away from the abstract depiction of objects and toward a more visceral sense of real-life scale and physicality. Stories that describe our three-dimensional world can be delivered in the round, in front of you. Want a closer look at that sculpture? No need to pinch your phone’s screen to zoom. Just walk up to it. For a different angle, there’s no swiping to the next image. Just walk around it.”

The enthusiasm for AR in print magazines and publications is incredibly promising, we can only hope this becomes a new a standard for print journalism in the future. When it becomes more widely adopted, you’ll read about it first on VRFocus.