The ultra-hip French gaming culture magazine Amusement recently published an RFID-loaded special edition. The company was kind enough to ship me a copy to check out.
Essentially, the magazine hoped to bridge the gap between print and web media by using an RFID chip to link related online content. By using a USB RFID reader, the Violet mir:ror, I was able to scan the chip and access additional content through my browser.
The general effect? I'd be lying to say it was much more than a novelty, but that doesn't mean the idea is bad. Amusement linked about 5 pieces of online content, including media clips and even a flash game, through the RFID chip. This part works pretty well. Going instantly between a magazine and a playable game is pretty neat.
What didn't work for me was that the RFID signal isn't really tied to individual stories. You can't just flick a page and have related content pop up. You wave the chip by the mir:ror (I obviously ripped it out for convenience), then a link pops up. You wave it again, and another link pops up. There's not much rhyme or reason to it, which is probably more a limitation of the technology than a flaw with Amusement's design, but it made the experience ever so less futuristicy than I'd hoped.
Still, Amsuement is on to a decent idea here if publishers are able to iron out the kinks. And as for the magazine itself, I wish it were reprinted in English. The inspired layout and design more than rival my favorite gaming magazine, Edge. [Amusement and Violet]