In addition to bakers, crafters and designers, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia employs significant numbers of engineers and software developers.
In a conversation with Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson at the Wired Business Conference on Tuesday, Martha herself described some of their projects – in particular the evolution of tablet formats of MSLO magazines.
She said the Martha Stewart Living magazine app for the iPad was created after a five-month development process that was undertaken in partnership with Adobe. It was recently updated to address bugs and improve download speeds.
Meanwhile the Everyday Food magazine app for iPad, which launched in February, was created with an off-the-shelf software that turned out to be a poor fit. Stewart said MSLO is now developing its own publishing software, as well as Android versions of its apps.
Stewart said she uses her iPad to watch movies, research, and write. She just bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab, which she pointed out is lighter and has a higher volume control, which she likes because she doesn’t want to wear headphones. She particularly likes tablet screens because of their visibility and resolution, which “can do a real magazine justice.”
And tablets can include “fantastic” panoramic photographs that go far beyond the printed page, such as appeared in an Alaska fishing story on the Living app.
Another benefit of the devices is their ability to integrate QR codes, which Stewart can place on her products at both Macy’s and the Home Depot.
At Macy’s, the Martha Stewart Collection includes bath products, bedding, kitchenware, furniture and rugs; Martha Stewart Living products at the Home Depot include holiday, décor, flooring, kitchens, outdoor furniture, paint and storage and organization.
Stewart has been shooting videos for products in her line – like her paint collection at Home Depot – that will be tied to these QR codes. By scanning the codes, consumers can view the videos on tablets and other devices.
“They induce you to understand the product better,” she says. “They are treating the shopper to a better experience.”
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