Rather than stick with the tried and true formula, SI is adding a bit of tech-infused flavor with this year’s issue, and the sports publication has turned to none other than Google for some help. Starting this week, you’ll be able to purchase two editions the SI Swimsuit issue: a regular version for $7.99 and a premium edition for $9.99 that includes a Google Cardboard VR viewer (around half a million of the premium edition will be in circulation this year).
So what does the extra $2 get you besides a Google Cardboard viewer? Well it grants you access to free and premium VR content that is awash in scantily clad (or merely body painted) swimsuit models. The SI Swimsuit experience will be viewable with an iOS and Android companion app that you can download for your smartphone (Windows Phone users are once again left out of the loop, bummer). Those that ponied up for the premium edition will have full access to all of the VR clips included in the app, while everyone else will have to pay $1.99 or $4.99 depending on how much of the VR experience that you want to take part in.
If you want a little teaser of what’s awaiting you in the SI Swimsuit app, take a look at this 360-degree tour which showcases a handful of famous models:
We’ve seen some rather interesting uses of VR tech in the past few months, with the most recent being an Oculus Rift-fueled look at the PGA Golf Tour. We’ve also seen VR used to highlight the New England Patriots on the practice field and to tag along with NBA star LeBron James.