Book reading developed over the course of human history imbuing it with a rich tradition and a diverse set of associated rituals, the bulk of which should be, at a minimum maintained, enhanced where appropriate, and replaced only when necessary or voluntary.
At present, there is a certain tension and even, contradiction between books and their digital counterparts wherein books, though relatively low-tech, are extremely feature-rich, while digital readers, as noted by Portigal, “privilege access to content while neglecting other essential aspects of this complete reading experience.”
My E(nhanced)-Book seeks to eliminate this tension, and instead remain in harmony as a natural and intuitive evolution of the reading experience. How? – By maintaining as much of the tradition and ritual of book reading as possible, while providing optional functionality to greatly broaden the reading experience.
Stripped down to its principle features, the E-Book is really the same as a printed book, only better…
E-BOOK TECHNOLOGY, A PLAY IN TWO PARTS
1) “PAPER BACK”
All about reading. Limited technology reinforces a “full disconnect.
-- Flexible OLED Display – Zero glare, reduced energy consumption, storage versatility, and adjustable viewing area.
-- Touch Sensitive – A must for robust reader control and interaction.
-- Flexible Solar Cells – Easy on-the-go charging and enhanced sustainability.
-- Solid State Hard Drive – Reduced energy consumption and easily stores large number of works.
User-Interface & Functionality
Just as readers interact with their books in their own unique way, so can readers define their interactions with the E-Book
-- Gestures – E-Book comes pre-programmed to react to many traditional reading gestures such as swipe to turn pages, doggy ear to mark pages, circling text to “tag” it for later reference, open / close to reset pages & text, and margin scribbles for notes.
-- Taps – E-Book also comes pre-programmed with a more modern tap & menu system common to many existing smart phones, digital readers, and computers.
-- Furthermore, E-Book can also learn new user-defined gestures and its operating system is open-source allowing the tap & menu system to be reorganized as desired.
-- Adaptive Technology -- Similar to any printed medium, Paper Back is compatible with adaptive aids such as The Haptic Reader (http://www.idsa.org/IDEA2009/gallery/aw ... asp?ID=146
-- Sharing is achieved the old school way – by giving the Paper Back to another reader. (See Hard Cover for additional functionality).
-- Additional Functions include a keyword search, adaptive recommendations based on content and tagging choices
-- Static Text – When sitting around not being read, Paper Back pages retain text exactly how it was left – just like regular printed books, with zero power drain (same as e-ink in current digital readers).
-- Title Display – Backside of Paper Back has small OLED display showing a simple title page, similar to original manuscript standards.
-- Visual Effects – E-Book software comes with pre-programmed visual effects to maintain the traditional experience of the printed book.
• User- / Vendor-Definable cover art, fonts, page color, and “texture” variations
• User- / Vendor-Definable Graphics – Ability to turn illustrations on/off; to change between full-color or B&W and between full detail or simplified line-rendering
• Visual Page Turn – Swipe gesture causes pages to actually “flip” visually across the Paper Back screen.
• Visual Aging – Cover art, fonts, page color and textures change over time.
• Page Shuffle -- Ability to “shuffle” pages back & forth by bending edge b/t thumb & index finger.
• Landscape / Portrait Modes -- Ability to change to single column of text in portrait mode (Book’s default mode is in landscape with two opposing pages of text. This rotation method is already the norm in popular smart-phone devices)
• Visual Reactivity to Light – Pages become brighter / darker depending on light source and reflectivity can be turned on/off if desired
• Version Stamp / Date Stamp / Special Release Stamp – Can be “hardwired” into book data for authenticity.
• Special Editions can contain special graphics, notes from author, gallery, or editor, etc.
• Folding the Paper Back back (against the “spine”) either a) reduces the screen to a pre-defined area (e.g. newspapers folded to do the crossword), b) maintains position & scale to mimic real-life folding (e.g. media like magazines & newspapers), c) maintains position & scale to mimic “impossible” folding (e.g. inflexible media like a printed book), or d) reduces text for a smaller reading area.
• Gift / Inscription page -- Can be added for further user customization.
-- Paper Back comes in different sizes to mimic traditional printed media such as magazines and newspapers.
-- Paper Back can also come in limited editions that duplicate existing paper back covers currently in print. This replaces the small OLED display for the title page and the cover remains completely static.
2) “HARD COVER”
The hard cover “home” that Paper Back nests in; Provides additional hardware and customization to further maintain the printed book aesthetic and sensual experience and enhance the overall ritual.
-- Wireless (802.11n)
• Download content from any provider offering relevant E-Book content or access reference materials (dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia)
• Upload content / data / notes / statuses to social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Book Reviews, Book Club)
• Enables sharing between readers and their E-Books
• Defaults in “airplane mode” for uninterrupted reading on planes (unless downloading content or accessing supplementary data)
• DOES NOT allow access to email, data pop-ups via PUSH technology, or any other externally driven distractions
• To encourage sharing, some book content with an associated cost for download, can be accessed for free at any library equipped with a wireless connection and the proper software.
• Sync across multiple readers or other associated technology
• Live or recorded oral exchanges
• Allows the Hard Cover to replicate traditional book sounds such as the spine crack, page turn, page shuffle, scritch-scritch of pencil when annotating, page crumple, “tear”
• Play reference sounds (e.g. examples from nature, pronunciations, etc.), music clips, author / editor commentary, etc.
• Video Conferencing
• Record social interactions such as reader-audience story time
-- Solid State Hard Drive – For additional storage.
-- Solar Cells -- Larger array for fast Paper Back charging and increased reading time when nested.
-- Wireless Charging – For backup power source for prolonged indoor use or lack of sun
-- Writing Tool Strap – For holding writing implements for interface & note taking.
User-Interface & Functionality
-- Because Paper Back nests within the Hard Cover, the Hard Cover maintains all of its functionality
-- Cross-Platform Sharing
• Hard Cover hardware is designed to be compatible with popular existing technology such as TV’s, monitors, printers, sound systems, and of course computers. All data transfer is via a wireless connection.
• Content can be shared between readers and their E-Books via proprietary gestures “Tear & Share”, “Grab & Give”, or “Tap to Transfer”
• Content is also is formatted for easy sharing even if other user doesn’t have their own E-Book
-- Adaptive Technology -- Additional hardware (wireless, mic, speakers, & camera) augment Paper Back’s adaptive functionality enabling a larger range of interaction through more complex systems such as visual control (e.g. ERICA), speech control, audio feedback & indication, a live or recorded reader-audience experience across any distance, and more.
-- Comes “jacketed” with traditional cardboard & cloth
-- Other jacket options include leather, fabric, other colors of traditional board + laminate, wood, plastic shell, etc. to meet user preference.
-- Optional “live” jacket replaces the outside facing jacket surface with another full-size screen allowing for the same double-sided viewing conducive to simultaneous reading by multiple readers or reader-audience story time.
-- All jackets increase weather- & wear-resistance to further enhance portability and durability for flexible placement (store, car, gym bag, purse, bookstore, coffee shop, as well as the bathroom, workroom, floor, fridge, shelf, indoors, outdoors, wet grass, etc.