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USC Alumni Magazine Debuts Augmented Reality App

December 4, 2012
LOS ANGELES—Dec. 4, 2012—The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences announces the debut of its branded augmented reality (AR) application with the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue of USC Dornsife Magazine. At a time when some university alumni magazines as well as mass publications, are transitioning to online-only editions, AR technology enables USC Dornsife Magazine to get the printed page popping to life by seamlessly integrating print and virtual technology.

The USC Dornsife College is one of the world’s first educational institutions to implement an augmented reality app, which was produced in collaboration with Metaio, a global leader in augmented reality technology. USC Dornsife Magazine joins major publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Time and USA Today in offering additional sensory elements to enhance the reading experience.

Using the free AR app, readers of the print publication can view videos, see slide shows, listen to music and even access a recipe by simply holding their smartphone or tablet over the printed page of the magazine. Cardinal icons throughout the magazine prompt readers—including alumni, faculty, staff, parents and students—to “Scan for Extras” pointing to available bonus materials to unlock. 

Using Metaio’s powerful cloud-based Junaio platform, the app seamlessly integrates multimedia content into the publication using image recognition software. No QR codes are used to call up bonus materials.

By integrating augmented reality into USC Dornsife Magazine, written features in the magazine take on a whole new life. Bonus features add new dimensions to storytelling and make use of content that is already being produced for the publication and for the USC Dornsife College website.

For instance, a story about a summer program in Taiwan is supplemented with a video about students’ learning experiences abroad; coverage of a USC Dornsife College sociology class is accompanied by a 60-second seminar on a key concept from the course; and an article on an alumna’s cookbook calls up a recipe from it. All together, 14 bonus features are included in the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue.

“The USC Dornsife AR App is a unique and innovative way to highlight the incredible work being done at USC Dornsife,” said Steve Kay, dean of the USC Dornsife College. “Whether it’s unlocking a clip of testimony from the archive of the USC Shoah Foundation—The Institute for Visual History, or a video about students investigating climate change in the Arctic, our readers get a substantive additional layer of content.”

The USC Dornsife AR App also engages readers in a fun, easily accessible way, said Emily Cavalcanti, executive director of communications at the USC Dornsife College. “This easy-to-use, cutting-edge technology seamless integrates with the printed page to bring stories to life right before our readers’ eyes. In addition to our biannual magazine, we look forward to introducing AR technology into other key USC Dornsife publications.”

If you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue of USC Dornsife Magazine, send your request including your mailing address to

Access USC Dornsife Magazine online.

About USC Dornsife College
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of the university. The largest, oldest and most diverse of USC’s 19 schools, USC Dornsife is composed of more than 30 academic departments and dozens of research centers and institutes. USC Dornsife is home to approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 750 faculty members with expertise across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

About Metaio
As the worldwide leader in augmented reality technology, Metaio develops software products for visual interactive solutions between the real and the virtual world. Based on the Metaio Augmented Reality SDK, 3D animations can be integrated seamlessly into live-video streams respectively into pictures of the user’s real environment and deployed to multiple platforms.

Source: USC Dornsife College.



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