BBC’s Focus Augmented Reality Cover set to be Scariest Ever

BBC Worldwide’s popular science and technology magazine Focus will next week go on sale with an augmented reality cover, set to be the scariest cover in magazine history.

The July issue cover will feature a Scream-style mask. When readers click on the 3D section of Focus magazine’s websiteand hold the cover in front of a webcam, a 3D spider will creep out of one of the eyes and run around the page, disappearing briefly behind the magazine before reappearing at the bottom of the cover.


Jheni Osman, Editor of Focus, said: “This issue of Focus will really test your nerves. And that’s exactly what we’re after – a really deep reader reaction. It’s fantastic to be able to interact with our readers in this way and it makes absolute sense for us to put into practice some of the technology that they are so used to reading about.”


The augmented reality content has been produced in collaboration with Total Immersion using its patented D’Fusion technology.

Myles Peyton, EMEA Sales Director at Total Immersion, said: “We are delighted to be working with Focus to create our first ever augmented reality magazine cover in the UK.

“This technology offers readers a completely new interactive experience and helps take printed magazines to a whole new digital level.  We have already launched augmented reality magazine covers in the US and France and there’s definitely the potential for augmented reality to become a more regular feature of magazine publishing as the technology evolves in the future.”


Readers of the July issue will also be able to use augmented reality technology to view a video of an exploding death star and a 3D model of two neutron stars colliding.

This science of fear special issue celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hitchcock’s Psycho, investigating what triggers fear, where phobias come from and how to beat them. The July issue of Focus will go on sale on 3rd June, priced £3.60.

Also available from 3rd June will be the Find Focus channel for the popular augmented reality app Layar. After installing the app onto their iPhone or Android mobile, readers can download the Find Focus channel to see the location of Focus retailers, and also find science and discovery centres around the UK. This will be the first channel of its kind for the UK magazine industry.


Focus, the BBC’s popular science and technology monthly, brings readers a unique editorial proposition with a reliable and accessible voice through expert journalism and close links to acclaimed BBC programming. The magazine covers technology, discovery and exploration, the natural world, environmental issues and anything else that can be explained though science. It has a monthly circulation of 71,783 (ABC Jul-Dec 2009) and is published by BBC Magazines Bristol, a trading name of Bristol Magazines Ltd., which is a subsidiary of BBC Worldwide Ltd.

About BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Digital Media, Sales & Distribution, Magazines, Home Entertainment and Global Brands. In 2008/09, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £102.6 million (before exceptionals) on sales of over £1 billion.

Total Immersion

Total Immersion ( is the global leader in augmented reality. Through its patented D’Fusion® technology, Total Immersion blurs the line between the virtual world and the real world by integrating real time interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream. Leading the augmented reality category since 1999, the company maintains offices in Europe (France and UK), Asia and in the U.S., and supports a network of more than 60 partners worldwide. Find the latest news concerning Total Immersion projects at:

3 Responses

  1. for our catalog cover in 2011

  2. […] both print and digital to provide a unique experience. The BBC science magazine FOCUS recently published an issue with special encoding on the cover and several internal pages, they when held up to a web camera, produced 3D images and text that […]

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