If the comments on the New York Times blog about VIVmag’s interactive iPad magazine are any indication, users are still having a hard time figuring out the usefulness of the infamous tablet device. But that hasn’t stopped technologists and innovators from designing interfaces and experiences specifically for the iPad.

VIVmag's Digital Magazine Motion Cover and Feature for the iPad

Recently VIVmag, an all-digital lifestyle online magazine released sneak peaks of its interactive feature spread and motion cover for the iPad. The videos below are an indication of what’s to come and what we can expect to see more of as digital experiences are influenced by the iPad.

VIV Mag Interactive Feature Spread - iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

Designing Experiences for the iPad

While smartphones and websites will still exist to provide us familiar interfaces from which we can access information, video and games, the iPad has promised us a more convenient format from which to engage with content. Sure, you can access VIVmag from a mobile phone’s screen or from your desktop, but that’s not the point. The point is to take advantage of the iPad’s functionality.

But designing for such functionality doesn’t come cheap. VIVmag, for example, will cost US$ 36 for a yearly subscription of six editions, or US$ 6 an issue.

Yet at such an expense, media interdependency has been created. Zinio, a San Francisco company that markets digital editions of many magazines, powers VIVmag. As well, the videos, shot by the photographer Alexx Henry were made using an advanced camera called Red, that can shoot digital video at resolutions as high as motion picture film, while allowing magazine producers to edit and pause the appropriate scenes to create interactive fashion features with text.

VIV Mag Featurette: A Digital Magazine Motion Cover and Feature for the iPad from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

Evolving to the Point of Inevitable Integration

These digital advancements are just the beginning. As more magazines begin to design interfaces for the iPad, the costs associated with development will decline, making it more affordable to experiment and adapt.

In the meantime, readers and lurkers alike will continue to question the usefulness of the iPad until, like those before them that ridiculed previous technological innovations, they get to a point where they are too immersed in the digital media experience to have imagined a time without it.