Booming era of Augmented & Virtual Reality in Publishing

Booming era of Augmented & Virtual Reality in Publishing

Digitally, we are in a great place. With 84% adults globally using the internet and 68% owning a smartphone, content is being consumed digitally at a fierce rate and publisher’s need to fulfill the need with immediate effect. As consumers expect the content to be at their fingertips, they also expect the content to be more fascinating using the AR and VR formats.

Augmented and virtual reality is on the cusp of exploding and the future is expected to be more three dimensional, thus, eliminating the use of computers, phones and tablets.

The upcoming AR/VR era has the potential to be incredibly lucrative for publishers and content creators. And the time to start diving into the AR and VR content isn’t in 2020, when almost one billion consumers are accessing the content and the market is saturated. The time is NOW.

AR users over the period of years
AR users over the period of yearsSource :

So, what’s in for the publishers? How can the publishers use this opportunity to score better goals? The future planning and architecture can be carved by a publisher only after carefully knowing the in and out of both the technologies. And accordingly, publishers can use the desired reality technology for their publishing platform.

Why AR and VR in the first place?

As a publisher, the upcoming augmented and virtual reality explosion presents an incredible chance to connect with new customers, create new and innovative content and capitalize on many opportunities within these two new genres.

Let’s start with augmented reality. It offers a unique opportunity to integrate your content into a user’s existing reality and sell content based on the things they are interacting with and seeing in real time.

On the other hand, virtual reality allows you to create fully immersive experiences. You can create content that brings user to a simulated reality. Virtual reality also allows ample opportunities for brand integrations by placing products in strategic places throughout the virtual universe.

AR vs VR
AR vs VRSource :

How they work

For a VR to work, users typically need to wear a form of headset or body gear to interact with the simulated world. It is focused on the content that the user is consuming, taking the viewer out of the real world and putting them into a different world, a virtual one. You generally cannot interact with the real life surrounding when you’re inside the simulated reality.

While for AR to work, the technology is developed into apps, usually for mobile devices. AR uses the phone’s camera to pop out 3D images, animations or text in the real world. It adds element to consumers’ lives in real time. It lets you see, hear, smell and feel your real life surrounding.

Let us look at the fascinating reality technologies in publishing

Since the last five or ten years, VR and AR have been creating a buzz over the internet. VR devices like Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and HTC Vive and AR devices like Google Glass and Microsoft’s HoloLens are giving different experiences to the content developers and consumers.

Implementation examples of Virtual Reality in publishing

The New York Times rolled out its virtual reality mobile app, NYT VR, that tell stories through an immersive 360 degree video experience. The VR film ‘The Displaced’ told the story of three child refugees and won the Cannes Lions’ Grand Prix and two Gold Lions.

The Times sent 1.2 million Google Cardboard units to subscribers to generate hype about the launch. Other publications experimenting with VR includes The Wall Street Journal and InStyle.

Outside magazine introduced a VR component to their publication. In a partnership with the brand The North Face, Outside distributed “The North Face: Nepal,” an immersive VR film experience. Outside shipped Google Cardboard units to 75,000 subscribers in order to drive them to Outside Online and access the content. This new content is engaging, and also represents a new potential revenue source for the publication.

Implementation examples of Augmented Reality in publishing

Anomoly, is a 370-page graphic novel with 50 pages of augmented reality content, allowing readers to watch characters to spring to life on top of the page through the window of their smartphone.

Anomoly, the AR graphic novel
Anomoly, the AR graphic novelSource :

Also, People Magazine’s Style Watch enabled readers to scan magazine pages and instantly make purchases as well as view additional content like styling tips.

The StyleWatch
The StyleWatch

How publishers can apply Virtual Reality in real life scenarios

  • Entry level market for publishers in the field of sports and fitness

During workout in the gym, you can use the VR goggles and headphones to download a 360-degree video shot and instantly you are no longer in the gym, you are on the Golden Gate Bridge!

This could be tagged with additional content, explaining how the bridge was conceived and built, for an example.

  • Entry level market for travel guide publishers in hospitals and nursing homes

Another application could be aimed at patients in hospitals and nursing homes. This process requires only the simplest form of 360-degree videos, e.g. a helicopter flight through the Grand Canyon. You can insert additional content or information if required, thus helping the patients to flee from their current situation.

  • Application for architectural publishers

Based on 3D CAD drawings, virtual reality can be used to architect and design a house. One can use the VR goggles before the house is built to prevent planning errors and expensive building problems.

How publishers can apply Augmented Reality in real life scenarios

  • Applications to support on-the-go doctors, lawyers, tax advisors, accountants

Doctors, lawyers, tax advisers and auditors can use AR content provided by technical or scientific publishers to create efficiencies in daily work while they are not actually sitting at their desks. For example, providing auto generated infographics and recommendations for therapy and rehabilitation for treating their patients without having a look at their computers.

  • Applications in household and cooking

A further application for augmented reality are cookbooks. Since you are showing instructional videos, you can simply embed new content in existing material, and then you can add image recognition on specific vegetables, steak or fish course displays, and add food preparation instructions as text. It’s the same recipe but with real world content.

The expectation of AR/VR in the future
The expectation of AR/VR in the futureSource :

Using a futuristic CMS can help you adapt to AR/VR quickly

As a publisher or a content creator, starting to experiment with creating and publishing AR and VR content, will give you an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn the ins and outs of what works, what’s profitable and how you can best evolve your business to fit into the AR/VR world.

During the entire journey, a reliable and future ready CMS can help you get your content out loud. And we are proudly accepting this change and have already started marching towards the future reality. We are, Quintype.

To know more about us, email us at

Related Stories