Available with the new Guinness World Records 2014 book is a free app. This app uses what is called “augmented reality”, which means that it takes records from several of the pages within the book and brings them to life in 3D on your Android device, iPhone, or iPad. To begin with, you can download the app to your device from the iTunes App Store or the Android Market. You’ll have to buy the book for the app to work though. On several pages (and the cover) you will find a little icon that says “See it 3D”. Open up your app, center the viewfinder on the page, and the augmented reality begins.
Just by checking out the cover with the app, you see how well done it is. The cover begins to thump like a beating heart, and then suddenly pops open. It has transformed into a portal, which pages and pictures of records from the book fly out of. And this is not just from a static perspective. As this takes place, you can move your device around and see all of it smoothly from different angles.
You can take a screenshot whenever you like, and some of the pages actually offer taking pictures with their subject as part of the experience. If you are so inclined, you can share these pictures through social media. The 3D experiences include controlling a dinosaur, seeing the height of the shortest woman on earth relative to your book, and coaxing a cobra out of its basket. There are 12 in total, and the 3D on each is well done.
The only downside to the app is the fact that you must purchase the book to use it. From the perspective of Guinness, this makes sense. They want to sell more books, and this will probably help them do it. However, it might have been a good idea to add in a few more of these little games that didn’t require having the book right in front of you for them to work. 12 different 3D experiences, all of which are either fun or informative (some both!) The app is simple to use, and everybody likes free! All of the 3D looks really neat. The need to buy the book in order to use the app.
The popularity of the Guinness books seems to have waned a bit over the years. While the information within is just as interesting as it has ever been, it’s not quite the household name that it was in the past. This is a fun, well-functioning app that brings a much-needed modern touch to the already world-famous name that is Guinness.