Get ready to be impressed!
The new Guinness World Records 2014 book is available for purchase. And with it, a freebie. An “augmented reality” app for your Android device, iPhone or iPad that turns select pages and records into a fun little 3D experience. You can download the app for free from the Android Market or the iTunes App Store. Once this is done, you’ll need your book handy to make it work. On the cover and a number of pages, there is a small icon that says “See it 3D”. Anytime you see this, you can use the app. You’ll point your device at the page, and it will load the augmented reality.
From the get-go, it’s pretty impressive. Scan the cover for an “intro”, and watch the cover thump like a heartbeat until it breaks open. The book now appears to be a sort of portal from which pictures of records and record-holders fly out at you. As this takes place, you can move your device around and see all of this at different angles. At any point, you can snap a screenshot, and either keep it for yourself, or share it via your favorite social media. Flip through the pages of the book to find several more 3D experiences, from seeing the height of the shortest woman on earth, to controlling a dinosaur, to watching a cobra come out of a basket. All are rendered in surprisingly good 3D.
The only problem that I see with this app is that you must have the book. Obviously, Guinness wants to sell more copies, and this is ostensibly a way to do it, but it would be nice to also have some functionality/playability built in to the app that was independent of the book. A variety of different 3D experiences, each of which add value (whether informative or entertainment) to their respective records. Easy to use and interact with. No cost to download the app. And the 3D just flat out looks cool. You have to have the book. It would be nice if there was a stand-alone component.
The Guinness books have lost a little bit of popularity over the years. This app really adds a fun side to the book. Not that the books are boring by any means – quite the contrary, they’re as interesting as ever – but another component like this serves to spice it up a bit. It’s a great way to bring this dynasty into the modern era.