Welcome to The Big Issue’s Augmented Reality special

We're bringing our page to life with exclusive video and audio content, while giving a new voice to our hard-working vendors

We’re hurtling into a new year swamped with uncertainty, debate and momentous change, but one thing is staying true through all of this: The Big Issue.

Our very reason for existence – to support our vendors – has never been clearer. Universal Credit is knocking countless families across Britain into poverty, and the number of homeless people on our streets has been rising every year for almost a decade.

But as always, there are seeds of hope, because with change comes opportunities to flourish in ways previously impossible. That’s what our Augmented Reality special is all about. On the streets now is living proof that hope can find a way through change; our message can adapt to whatever is thrown at us.

Go ahead, scan the front cover of the magazine with the GenARate app, then go and show your local vendor. Make it a conversation starter. Flick back to our regular My Pitch page, but use the app to unlock a video of our cover vendor Ann telling her story. She’s just one of thousands. Hear her out, and pass the message on.

We’re also featuring an exclusive Cressida Cowell bedtime story, read by David Tennant, as well as a video interview and musical performances from author Matt Haig and The Snowman and The Snowdog composer Andy Burrows. David Keenan, author of This Is Memorial Device, is also reading an extract from his new book For The Good Times.

We’ve partnered with technology company Konica Minolta on this project because week in week out, we are fighting for our vendors to succeed in any way possible. We’re testing contactless payments, we’re connecting vendors with future employers, and now we’re bringing the very pages of our magazine to life through augmented reality. Tech can get a bad reputation, sure, but we also understand the good it can do for society.

Welcome to The Big Issue’s AR special.

To download the GenARate app on the Apple App Store, go here

If you’re using Android, you can get the app here