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.

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Chappell Ellison

Chappell Ellison

CHAPPELL ELLISON is an award-winning design writer and critic based in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to contributing to various publications, she has lent her editorial skills to several visual arts-based institutions and companies, including the Museum of Modern Art, Design Observer, Etsy and the Museum of the Moving Image. Chappell regularly lectures at universities and currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts. She blogs often and tweets twice as much.

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