ELLE Brings Augmented Reality To Magazine Cover

HuffPost RYOT introduces the technology for ELLE’s November “Women in Hollywood” issue.

Elle Magazine is looking to bring some of Hollywood’s favorite women to life on the cover — and all you need is your iPhone. In partnership with Huffington Posts’s VR division HuffPost RYOT, you will be able to use the ElleNow app and hover your phone over any of the eight covers to watch as the cover face comes to life with a video interview.

The Elle issue, which hits newsstands October 18th, features eight November covers of actresses Kristen Stewart, Lupita Nyong’o, Amy Adams, Anna Kendrick, Aja Naomi King, Felicity Jones, Helen Mirren, and Kathy Bates.


The video interviews were produced by Elle, with the augmented reality activation being powered by HuffPost RYOT and Verizon’s proprietary platform Envrmnt. ELLE is the first Hearst Magazine brand to partner with HuffPost RYOT, with more brands scheduled for 2016 and 2017.

AOL acquired the Los Angeles based VR studio RYOT back in April where it became known as HuffPost RYOT. You can check out our exclusive look inside the Venice-beach VR studio here.

Rather than using a third-party AR app that would take readers outside of Elle’s owned brand experiences, AR functionality was integrated into the ELLENow app that is available for iOS, with Android coming soon. The hope for the November AR covers is to deepen the magazine media experience and increase engagement with readers.

“ELLE is a first-mover in so many ways – it was the first to use beacon technology to drive to retail, and in fact, it was the first fashion magazine to launch a website years ago,” Michael Clinton, Hearst Magazines president of marketing and publishing director, said. “RYOT’s ability to power augmented reality through our owned-and-operated app opens up so many possibilities, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with RYOT on more of the brands in our portfolio, and to bring the opportunities to our marketing partners as well.”

Other publishers have also been experimenting with what the future of editorial and advertising may look like for print magazines. Back in February, Sports Illustrated bundled 500,000 Cardboard VR viewers with its Swimsuit issue to drive new purchases at news stands. The Swimsuit issue VR video library gave you a very up close and personal experience with models Nina Agdal, Irina Shayk and Hannah Davis as they talked directly into the camera and posed for the camera.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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