The long-awaited (especially with men population), next Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated is going to be its most immersive experience, as the spread is set to become available in VR, including on Windows Mixed Reality.
Courtesy of the LIFE VR app in the Microsoft Store, Swimsuit Editor MJ Day will offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the issue was created. From a strolling the Caribbean sand beaches with Ashley Graham to a incredible sandstorm in the desert with Paige Spiranac, Swimsuit fans will now get to experience the stunning locations and go inside the shoots like never before. The issue will also feature exclusive AR experiences, such as a 3D hologram of this year’s cover model, to portals that let readers walk on to the set of an SI Swimshoot photo shoot.
To watch Behind-the-Scenes of Swimsuit 2018 VR you have to download the LIFE VR app, free for iOS and Android. Using the app, you can view the experience in 360 using just your mobile device, or with a Cardboard VR headset if you are watching from a mobile phone. The experience is also available on LIFE VR’s channel on Samsung VR for the Gear VR headset and in the LIFE VR Windows MR app. For more information visit time.com/lifevr.
Sports Illustrated is also celebrating the launch of the 2018 Swimsuit Edition by working with Snapchat to produce a custom ‘World Lens’. This lens lets readers get a feel of what it’s like to be a cover model by letting them put themselves on the cover.
Mia Tramz, the managing editor of Life VR, said that the idea that they wanted to capture was to frame it as fans’ chance to meet a Swimsuit model in AR. “We are really excited about ARKit and possibilities it presents, and this was an opportunity to start bringing you even more into the issue,” said Tramz. “The sensation of walking through the door is different than watching a 360-video on FB. There’s something interesting about leaving the world you’re in and walking into this virtual one, something that we wanted to experiment with.”
Between multiple AR installations from Time Inc. and recent Winter Olympics coverage from The New York Times and The Washington Post, it seems that the publishing industry has fully-embraced AR as a means to add value to their aging, paper-based medium, which, according to the Times’ CEO, may only have 10 years left on the newsstands of the world.