Condé Nast Takes VR Outside the Box

vivepaper-htc-vivePrint-triggered augmented reality advertising is coming soon to VR headsets near you… and it’s a whole new way to see print.

The next level of print and augment reality seems to be on the horizon.

“HTC has just launched a new capability that can integrate physical print content into virtual reality environments,” writes Chase Martin in MediaPost.

“The so-called Vivepaper involves printing QR code-like markings on a physical piece of paper, which can then be scanned by a VR headset to trigger digital content on top of that piece of paper,” Martin explains.

The technology can work to simulate 360-degree photos, videos, spatial audio and 2d content.

So of course the magazine industry, led by Condé Nast, is eager to integrate this into their advertising programs.

“Condé Nast Traveler China is using Vivepaper in next month’s issue, along with several other China-based publications,” Martin continues.

We’ve already seen Elle magazine integrating augmented reality in their November issue; this Vivepaper idea takes the technology one step further, breaking down the silos between digital and physical reality.

“Rather than accessing a restricted window of digital content through the use of a smartphone in the physical world, Vivepaper aims to incorporate a limited part of the physical world into a predominantly digital-based world, through the use of a VR headset,” explains Martin.

The reader interacts with the content not by tapping a screen, but by actually manipulating the piece of printed paper in their hand – turning the page for more content just like they would with a real print magazine.

Imagine the fun possibilities: National Geographic and a fold-out map, Scientific American and a revolving star chart, a book about music history where the page becomes the concert program…the idea begs the question of what’s real, what’s not, what’s print and what’s digital.

Consumers, I expect, will love this…digital content in a physical format. We can’t wait to see what’s next for print in these wild and amazing times.