One of my BBM contacts’ status read “a magazine is a broken iPad”.

And they are right — except if the mag in question is the latest edition of RELOADED magazine. Planet RELOADED, a new pop culture and entertainment magazine that launched in Nigeria only a few months ago with rich content and way above par production values is making the jump to lightspeed with augmented reality techn that will make the magazine’s pages come alive in their readers’ hands.

Some geeks already have a good idea what this is about. But for the unacquainted, augmented reality is:

a live, copy, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data – Wikipedia

Basically, it’s technology that allows you overlay digital interfaces on top of physical surfaces to add context and unlock meaningful, immersive experiences. There are tons of uses for this. Minority report, anyone?

RELOADED Magazine’s application of AR is a bit less dramatic, but is fascinating still. With a special app that readers download to their phones, they will be able to interact digitally with most of the magazine. Passing your phone over the graphics and content will prompt you to follow a brand on social media, watch a video, buy a ticket to a show at 50 percent off, take a quiz, order pizza…surely you see can see where this is going?

RELOADED Cover #003

Interactive print — that is what this is — has been around for a while. It is a version of augmented reality that Layar, the leader in that space, has been pushing and improving for years. RELOADED Magazine says they are the first to bring it to Africa, and will be breaking out their innovative take on print magazines during Social Media Week Lagos, this Thursday, 1:30pm at Terra Kulture. All of this snugly coincides with the release of the third issue of the magazine — the cover features Olamide, the baddest guy that ever lived doing a suicidal derivative of his viral gunman pose.

Is this interesting or what? Register here to attend. I can’t be there sadly (Battlefield blues), but I hope to hear how it goes.

Bonus: Check out this amazing 2009 video of Pranav Mistry explaining his “sixth sense” technology, a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrtANPtnhyg&w=560&h=315]

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