Friday, October 08, 2010

Reading Technology Searching For A Problem

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

We were just pointed to ‘something interesting’ at business insider and clicked to watch 'the future of the book' as viewed by design and innovation consulting firm IEDO.

The idea is based on exploiting technology in three conceptual ways which are supposed to turn us on as readers and make reading compelling. Unfortunately it begs the question as to whether the guys behind the idea; read, have read and if they have read, what they have read.

It introduces through:
Concept 1: Nelson. This feature makes immersive reading redundant and introduces layers of parrelel materials, discussions and media coverage. So may be ok for reference material but absolutely redundant with fictional materials. Who is going to create the ancillary material, what rights are attached to what content and where’s the money for the extra layers of costs.

Concept 2: Coupland. Which creates interactive social groupings , book clubs, reading assignments, galleries. Fine and some valid things here but who organises and why reinvent what works today- facebook. People are ecletic in their reading and lifestyles and it is questionable whether this ‘me too’ reading focus actually does anything about selling books which are a click away at Amazon.

Concept 3: Alice.Which goes further than Nelson and was obviously invented by a gamer. Here the reader can unlock hidden chapters, communicate with characters, and even contribute content in a co-operative or collaborative model. But what about moral rights and the cost of development to the return and why not just invent the game in the first place.

We hope the extended media people aren’t taking us all down the old CDRom days where many ‘exciting’ ventures burnt many naïve fingers. Judge for yourselves. There are some interesting points but its not hard to guess which we voted on their poll.

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