People have been trying for years to crack the idea of creating some kind of interplay between print media and screen media. Unfortunately most of the offerings that people have come up with have never achieved any kind of traction, mostly because they've been simply too, well, clunky.
I remember some extremely enthusiastic people coming to see me in the early noughties with a product that involved the reader having to hold their magazine up close to a PC webcam so that it might read a bar code embedded in a print ad (I remember thinking that by the time you've done that, you might as well have typed the URL into your browser).
So we've been left with the modern version of that - QR codes - that as any print Art Director will tell you can look rather messy on a carefully crafted magazine page layout. In order for this sort of stuff to have any value at all, it's got to involve as negligible an amount of effort as possible on behalf of the reader, and be simple, intuitive and seamless.
Of-course when augmented reality came along, some were quick to create examples of it working with magazines and print ads, but they've still felt very gimmicky in a way that Layar's new version, demonstrated above, does not. Not that I think for a minute that anyone's going to read a whole magazine with their phone held up in front of it, but I rather like the idea of creating dynamic tags that enable me to buy stuff I see in a fashion piece (in reality I'm not that fashionable), or see an accompanying video to a print feature on my phone should I wish. Perhaps this sort of stuff is starting to come of age.
HT Hugo Rodger Brown for the link
Image via www.layar.com