Esquire (USA) has been experimenting with the physical nature of its cover for a while now. In October 2008 it released thefirst-ever E-Ink cover, followed by a window cover in February 2009, some origami in May 2009 and finally Augmented Reality.
With the help of digital-services firm The Barbarian Group, David Granger, Esquire's long time Editor, and his team found ways to make an entire Esquire issue interactive. "We wanted to create something that wasn't just about showing off the technology but actually adds value to the story," as Barbarian CEO Benjamin Palmer explained. After several previous iterations, the final AR issue was finally released in October 2009 to coincide with Esquire's November issue (with Rober Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes on the cover). At the end, it included six Augmented Reality experiences: a 3D cover, a weather-changing fashion portfolio, a time-sensitive "Funny Joke" from a "Beautiful Woman", plus a song, a photo slideshow, and an ad from Lexus. No matter how you look back at it, although others have now done the whole AR thing too, i's still pretty cool I have to say!