Milwaukee Magazine’s Identity Crisis

Milwaukee’s alcoholic output has caused its fair share of confusion over the years (drink responsibly, kids), but Milwaukee Magazine suffered a full-on identity crisis recently.

The print edition of the October “Best of 2012” issue is thought to be the first magazine to offer an entirely interactive experience on every page, thanks to Actable print technology from Quad/Graphics Inc. The result is something dubbed “augmented reality”; here’s how it works.

Download the free Actable app to your smartphone or tablet computer. Hold your device over a single page of the magazine and press scan. A few seconds later, you will see the image of the print page come alive with video, audio, and/or 3D-like illustrations. (Have a look at the video below.)

As interesting as this is, you have to ask: Has Milwaukee Magazine transformed its print product into an iPad magazine? And if I have a tablet PC or iPad to begin with, why do I want to lug around the print edition in the first place? (Interestingly, rival lifestyle magazine M: Milwaukee offers a free digital edition.) Is this, then, a solution in search of a problem?

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