Entertainment Weekly uses Android phone to display live ads inside magazine

This story is a few weeks old by now, but I missed it when it happened, so I figure others did too. The October 5 issue of Entertainment Weekly in the US came in a limited edition version that had a very special ad, a tiny LCD screen that displays ads and a live Twitter feed for the CW network. The screen is embedded in the page, and a small plastic tab makes the entire thing start just when you open to that page.

It didn’t take long until someone ripped into the page to see what it was hiding, and what they found was quite interesting. The video above from Mashable shows that a rather familiar shape emerges once the paper is out of the way. Inside the page is a fully functional Android smartphone, one that at some point in time had a QWERTY keyboard. It seems that a Foxconn-produced, cheap Android-phone has been re-purposed to serve as live billboard inside the ad. The T-mobile SIM-card that gives it its internet connection also works for calls, and the fact that there were calls in the call log of the phone in the video is slightly creepy.

It’s probably a good thing that the edition in question was limited, or this would have been a seriously expensive ad to run. It probably isn’t the best idea to send 3G-capable SIM cards everywhere either, and you have to think that these cards will be shut off at some point – or they might end up feeding some lucky buyer with free data for a while.

You also have to appreciate the irony of a mobile device being embedded in a physical magazine in a day and age where magazines are available digitally on mobile devices.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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