Of course, finding a book can be more exciting than reading it, as described by the American writer and artist, Henry Miller: “The search of a book, as some of us know, is often more rewarding than reading it”. Undoubtedly, each book has a particular smell that almost immerses you in the written words. For a moment, you can breathe in the perfume or the scent of the story. What happens when the reading experience catches up with new technologies? This is the question that IDEO, a design company, is trying to answer with three concepts: “Coupland” allows readers to build shared libraries and hear about additional texts through existing networks. Also, “Nelson” that connects books with commentary, reviews and contextual information, allowing readers to explore a topic from multiple perspectives. Finally, “Alice” that turns storytelling upside-down by making narratives non-linear and participatory.
From concept to development is only one step with Möbius Book, a product developed within the Möbius project funded by the European Commission. It is a cross-media production that will integrate a digital version, a 3D audiobook (binaural audio) and audiovisual content based on the arts of the book. They consist of The Möbius Player, a mobile application that allows the reader to enjoy the content through text, 3D audio and visualisations, and the Möbius Creator, a web application that transforms stories into immersive experiences. These applications in development open up new possibilities to experience books in an immersive way, engaging readers through the combination of text, 3D audio and visualisations. Technology becomes part of a suite of software tools that will enable the production of new immersive and interactive book experiences for the purpose of creating a book.
The idea behind these projects is to respond to a new way of consuming entertainment and to provide new reading options in the face of the large market of entertainment platforms that we find ourselves in. Reading a physical book will always be the most universal form to access literature. Of course, it is not necessary to sacralise the object, but it is important to consider its impact. Books have taken many forms over time and continue to evolve as society’s desire is shaping contemporary trends.
Marjorie Grassler, European Project Executive.
Can you imagine a library of non-human books? Read more in the following link – The library of non-human books or when will there be a certificate “Free of aAI”?