In conjunction with the release of sci-fi graphic novel Anomaly, an app (for iPhone/iPad/Android) brings the book’s characters to life through augmented reality technology. As seen in the trailer, the user points his or her smartphone at the pages of the book, transforming two-dimensional static characters into fully animated 3D models with interactive features. Additionally, the app reveals plot details and images that cannot be experienced through simply reading the book.
Augmented reality, defined as a screen or other device that overlays computer-generated data onto the real world, has been around for a while, with Google Glass being the most recent and talked about iteration. But augmented reality has never quite caught on with the mainstream, perhaps because there’s an underlying Minority Report-like creepiness that’s unsettling for most. But if you move past that, augmented reality could become a promising experimental playground for visual artists. At the very least, as is the case with Anomaly, it has the potential to offer more opportunities for collaboration between storytellers, illustrators and animators.