The New Yorker's "Innovators" issue launches today with front and back covers that can be brought to life using augmented reality.
Designed by longtime New Yorker contributor Christoph Niemann, who collaborated on the project with FranÃ§oise Mouly, The New Yorker's art editor, the covers -- titled "On the Go" -- bring a bustling subway car and the city skyline to life for readers using augmented-reality app Uncovr.
Niemann (whose other New Yorker covers include a powerful illustration following the Japanese tsunami) has embedded hidden surprises within the cityscape that are discoverable by moving and tilting the user's device. The app, created for The New Yorker by London-based Nexus Interactive arts, also allows readers to interact with full-page Qualcomm ads found in the front and back of the issue.
Niemann said of the concept (in a New Yorker article): "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. But then I realized that the subway is even better, because it really does take you to a different world. 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."