Chances of Augmented Reality in Journalism

There is a lot of hype in the media right now about augmented reality, especially when it comes to interactive video games and entertainment industry. In fact, augmented reality is even being used to market business brands today. Augmented reality can even play a part in the field of journalism too.

But first, for those readers not up on all of today’s hi-tech terminology, some background information. Augmented reality, otherwise known as AR, is essentially a live indirect or direct view of a real-world, physical environment whose elements are supplemented or augmented by various computer-generated sensory input such as graphics, sound, video or GPS (Global Positioning System) data. Augmented reality has many uses.


Journalism And Augmented Reality

Journalism and augmented reality are actually made for each other. In the field of journalism, information is gathered across the globe. Using augmented reality, all the information gathered can actually be displayed right from whence it was picked up. This has interesting possibilities especially in terms of event reporting.

Of course, various experts who have already studied all the augmented reality applications presently available, see other options. In truth, there are many more possibilities beyond that. Here are but a few other ways in which augmented reality can be utilized journalism.


The Living Magazine

In 2009 augmented reality discovered a mass market in the smartphone industry. Suddenly smartphone users were able to actually see 3D objects and additional layers of data when they looked at things through webcams and smartphones. Late that same year, Esquire magazine jumped on the augmented reality bandwagon as well.

Published in the United States by the Hearst Corporation, Esquire‘s December issue had an augmented reality cover which featured Robert Downey Jr introducing the issue. When a reader held the issue in front of any webcam and moved it around, changes would appear on the screen. The user could enjoy actor Gillian Jacobs telling a joke or watch a model change her clothing.

While some of the publication’s critics wrote it off as a publicity grab and no one “really needed it.” Nevertheless, the concept of a living magazine, as developed by the London, England -based company Moving Brands, not only made sense but opened up a world of possibilities. The animation created by the Munich, Germany-based company Metaio for a toy company’s catalog provides yet another example of the future possibilities.

Indeed, Robert Downey Jr on that Esquire cover was only the beginning. No doubt there will continue to be more actors and celebs of other ilks filmed before a green screen to be included as special add-ons. It certainly doesn’t take all that imagination to picture how tabloids and news magazines could use augmented technology, and that is merely the beginning.


Sports Journalism And Augmented Reality

Just think of the possibilities of using augmented reality with live sports events. The mobile reality blog Augmented Planet once reported a number of the possibilities. Games such as baseball, cricket, football and soccer are great examples.

The games can be overlaid with various game and player statistics that is traditionally presented by different sports commentators. In the future, sports fans could watch such games on their smartphones. The augmented games could even feature different sports blog posts by sports reporters.

In fact, some online sources point out that someday augmented reality could lead to making watching sports games (or news broadcasts) on a smartphone as popular as watching them on television. Parents could watch the game while caring for the kids. People could watch while on break at work and catch up with the facts, scores and stats any time at all.


Event Reporting And Augmented Reality

Finally, augmented reality could be especially significant at international and big political events. Important information could be delivered in real time. Data about the responsibilities of important people as they appear at events. Augmented reality can do this and so much more within the field of journalism.

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