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The Big Issue embraces AR with Konica Minolta

The Big Issue has teamed up with Konica Minolta to bring the first augmented reality (AR) edition of the magazine.

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The Big Issue introduces its first AR edition

The weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine offers those who are homeless or have lost their incomes a chance to earn a legitimate income, and its latest special edition focuses on the power of tech as a force for good.

The front cover is brought to life when viewed through the augmented reality app, genARate, and tells the story of vendor Ann Warke, who turned to The Big Issue when she could not afford her rent after losing her job.

The edition also includes in-depth and interactive stories looking at the ways in which tech can enrich lives, improve society and tackle social issues. The pages are marked with a special trigger image which begins showing video content when viewed through the app.

“With homelessness in the United Kingdom at an all-time high, this partnership is a prime example of how businesses, social enterprises, innovation and technology can come together to improve living conditions for the world’s most vulnerable populations,” says Ashley McConnell, partnership founder and international business development manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe.

By introducing readers to the vendors behind the content, we’re able to open untouched channels and start a conversation around important topics like never before

“By introducing readers to the vendors behind the content, we’re able to open untouched channels and start a conversation around important topics like never before,” says McConnell. “We’re thrilled to provide the technology that can help support such an outstanding social enterprise like The Big Issue.”

The Big Issue plans to utilise AR technology on a bi-monthly basis to provide more interactive content. The magazine is also trialling contactless payments for vendors to support them in the sale of the magazines, and the AR magazine is the organisation’s latest effort to embrace technology for the good of society.

Ben Sullivan, digital editor at The Big Issue, says: “As we continue to innovate and evolve in a digital society, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Konica Minolta to offer an enhanced magazine for our readers and hardworking vendors.”

He adds: “The ‘Tech For Good’ special not only shows the ways in which we’re pushing the boundaries of what print magazines can achieve, but also gives readers enhanced insights into the lives of our vendors, as their stories are brought into video and audio right in front of our readers’ eyes.”

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