Displaying Ebooks in New Ways

By Pebble Technology [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
It’s not just ebooks that are disrupting. Technology that displays ebooks is changing, which has led to some potentially creative new ways to read books, or at least to look at them.

On Publishing Perspectives, Bob Pritchett wrote about what needs to change in publishing, including the fact that the length of the book should not be tied to the genre, books should be able to keep changing (like Wikipedia), and authors should make efforts to have relationships with readers, the way musicians have relationships with fans.

With that in mind, here are some interesting projects that could potentially lead to new ways to display ebooks:

  • Kindle footwear. According to GoodeReader, there was an Indiegogo project by iShüu Technologies that uses eink for shoes. “You can control the patterns and colors via a mobile app and automatically change the color, based on your outfit.” It seems like you could, in theory, display the text of books on your shoes as well.
  • Smartwatches. Smartwatches have been around for a few years, but the recently released Pebble Time has color eink. A new way to read picture books, perhaps?
  • Flexible display. According to The Digital Reader, “The Graphene Center at Cambridge University, in partnership with PlasticLogic, […] revealed [last year] the first graphene-based flexible grayscale display.” The press released explained that “Graphene is a two-dimensional material made up of sheets of carbon atoms. It is among the strongest, most lightweight and flexible materials known, and has the potential to revolutionise industries from healthcare to electronics.”
  • Media rich ebooks. This one isn’t a new idea, but there was a successful Kickstarter campaign for Screentakes, an interactive script analysis. The first book had interactive graphics, and well integrated videos, photos, and charts, added in a way that forced the reader to interact with them.

Fun to think about, right?


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