Esquire mag goes augmented reality

Esquire US has been wandering into not-beating-but-joining territory for a while now, trying to out-tech the internet with gimmicks like an E Ink cove

Esquire US has been wandering into not-beating-but-joining territory for a while now, trying to out-tech the internet with gimmicks like an E Ink cover. Its latest cross-media experiment is 'augmented reality' (also known as a barcode) - a huge cover-mounted icon on its new issue that you wave in front of your PC's webcam to activate special software.

Hosted by Robert Downey Jr, the AR software offers you the chance to interact with features from the November issue, such as viewing a fashion shoot with different backgrounds or getting a daily rotation of old jokes told woodenly by a bored-looking (but hot) Gillian Jacobs.

Of course, it's not really augmented reality as we know it, and could all have been achieved just as easily with a URL and a nice Flash website. What's your take on it? The birth of a new inter-connected medium or just the extravagant death throes of the printed page?