Over the past few years, there have been numerous attempts to make magazines more interactive. Sadly, most of those attempts tended to revolve around gimmicky, impractical augmented reality stunts, where a magazine might be held up to the computer screen and a photo 'comes to life'. There was already a medium for this: it was called video. And there was plenty of it on that thing called the internet. But for the first time in a long time, if some of the app demonstrations deliver what they promise, the integrated digital content soon to be offered up appears to offer actual benefits to everyone involved in the process—the readers, the advertisers and, if the money starts coming back, the publishers.
Not surprisingly, Wired magazine, in conjunction with Adobe, is at the forefront of the transition to tablet computing and thinks the advances will change the publishing industry, improving the user experience and, join hands and pray, the economics. Chris Anderson, Wired's editor-in-chief, likens this period to the industry upheavals that resulted when television was introduced, usurping radio's throne.
Sports Illustrated has also demonstrated the potential of the technology for its magazine.
So, with all this potential to breathe new life into magazines and other media, how will the New Zealand industry respond?