The New Yorker’s latest cover has some crazy augmented reality stuff going on

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‘Print is dead, TV is dying’, we get that a lot. Let’s not jump to conclusions, as print magazines are making themselves savvier in ways you never imagined. Try looking at The New Yorker’s latest cover through the lens of a tablet or smartphone, and you’ll know.

The New Yorker’s yearly Innovators edition is out, and its original cover is a black and yellow image of a woman stepping through the doors of a subway car. The augmented reality content was created by artist Christoph Niemann, and is called ‘On the Go’. The magazine's art editor Françoise Mouly also lent a hand. Look at the same cover using a smartphone or tablet and The New Yorker‘s Uncovr app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, and both the front and back side become animated.

“The idea of an augmented or virtual reality is inherent in any drawing—it’s almost the definition of a drawing,” the artist said here. “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 step into that world or if something could come out of it?”

“In a drawing, the barrier between the real world and the made-up world is the surface, so at the very beginning I thought of an elevator with its doors closing,” he adds.

Niemann later zeroed in on the subway, because it takes us places.

“The closing doors are a flat surface that separates two worlds, and so are 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 the back cover, and the experience created by the app, I like that we could show essentially two different angles on the same world. Like stepping through a mirror”, he says.

See this through a smartphone or tablet, and a three-dimensional city shows up. One can move the camera around, and the view changes accordingly.

Watch in action here!

Watch this on The Scene.
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