The Big Issue and Konica Minolta implement augmented reality

The Big Issue and Konica Minolta are partnering to offer readers augmented reality via an app, genARate.

The first issue of the augmented reality edition will focus on the importance of using ‘technology for good’, and will include various in-depth and interactive stories that can only be unlocked through the genARate app.

Focused on how technology can help improve society, the issue will highlight specific organisations and entrepreneurs that are using tech to tackle social problems and ultimately make the world a better place.

Ben Sullivan, digital editor at The Big Issue, said: “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.”

The special edition will have interaction throughout the publication, including the cover where the story of vendor Ann Warke, 53, who turned to The Big Issue when she couldn’t afford to pay her rent due to losing her job. In order to unlock the exclusive content and bring to life The Big Issue, readers can scan the trigger image, which will be clearly marked with an icon, and can experience the hidden stories throughout the issue. In addition to the special edition, The Big Issue will be utilising AR on a bi-monthly basis to continue to provide readers engaging with digital content through the pages of the magazine.

“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,” said 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,” said McConnell. “We’re thrilled to provide the technology that can help support such an outstanding social enterprise like The Big Issue.”

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