I shouldn’t really say this given I work for another publisher entirely, but I’ve got a soft spot for Stylist. Yes, it has its flaws. I tend to skip the Work/Life page about the career woman with six children who, in the space of 24 hours maintains perfectly applied lipstick while curing cancer, running a 10k and throwing a dinner party where she and her glamorous guests come up with a solution to the Greek debt crisis. Oh, and the smug travel reviews of glorified B&Bs I’ll never be able to afford to stay in. From £350 a night? And half the time they can’t even be bothered to put the bath in a separate room. But I do love The Hot List at the front, and the food, and this week, the fact that it’s a special Augmented Reality Olympic issue.
The idea of using AR in a magazine is nothing new – Ideal Home’s stable mate Wallpaper had a stab a few years back – but I love that Stylist are thrusting it into the hands of the average Joanna in the street, and I couldn’t wait to try it.
So how does it work? Well, first you download the Blippar app to your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Next, you open the app and hold your device over any page with the Blippar logo. Blippar wlll take a few seconds to scan the page, before automatically uploading virtual content that will then appear on your screen.
Some of this works very well. Hold your phone over the cover of example, and you’ll see the synchronised swimmers move around in perfect formation. The ‘Scan to try’ feature, where the phone projects an image of a model’s clothes or a hairstyle so a friend can photograph you ‘wearing it’, is also very clever. On the travel pages, you’ll be able to watch a video tour of the lovely Greek resort they’ve featured.
The only place where my poor phone struggled a bit (which is a shame because it seemed the most exciting) is on my favourite Hot List page, where you could scan the page and then click through to buy any pair of trainers there. My phone scanned and scanned and scanned, but on the first few attempts failed to get anywhere. When i was finally able to click through and buy, I was greeted with a ‘network error’. Well at least it’s saved me some cash…
So there’s still a bit of work to be done, but well done Stylist. I’ll now be campaigning for the first ever AR issue of Ideal Home. Wish me luck!