1HDC 09.09 - The Future of Digital Reading - Submissions

E-books are interesting devices and they offer new features on the way of reading.
But, like many other people, I will always like to interact with paper documents in
certain moments or situations. They also have valuable advantages compared to electronic

This is my contribution to a future of NOT JUST electronic reading devices:


Everyday people at home or at the office throw away huge amounts of paper that is still in good conditions, but the information it contains is not valuable anymore.
Most of this paper would be recycled, but… wouldn´t it be even better if we could reuse it meanwhile it is in good shape to reprint new information?

This printer uses a special ink that can be degradated by its exposure to an ultraviolet light.
The ink can be used with any kind of paper.
Before printing, or reprinting, a sheet of paper, it is “scaned” by the ultraviolet light incorporated, erasing the old information.
Then, the clean paper can be printed again.

I hope you like this new approach,

Ernesto García.

Submission by Clint Beharry, Katie Koch, & Colleen Miller (SVA MFA in Interaction Design, Class of 2011)

The “Reading”
We are not proposing a specific device, but a comprehensive ecosystem that creates a social network of shared reading. An open market will allow healthy growth and competition across hardware devices and accessories, and a diverse offering of sensual, modal and ritual experiences for a wide range of readers.

Including the sensual

  • Multiple delivery devices, many manufacturers, no particular “holy grail”
  • Full hardware market with accessories, personally customizable, each with their own kinesthetic input
  • Traditional book with electronic component - Wirelessly transmits previews, reviews, and a “purchase digital copy” option!
  • Kindle / E-readers
  • Future tablet devices with flexible, dynamically haptic, OLED-type pages
  • Accordion foldout, huge board for kids
  • TV for group-reading
  • Digital visual representations of heavy usage wear-and-tear with acidic paper aging and worn edges

Supporting the social side of reading

  • Our system creation: Amazon meets Facebook meets a Lending Library
  • Inline Notes throughout the reading in page margins created by self, friends, strangers, critics (by choice, pull-notification)
  • Reviews by self, friends, strangers, critics
  • Lend your copy to others (lose access to your book while it’s lent out)
  • Send preview or portions to interested parties
  • See friends’, strangers’, critics’ readings on their profile pages with reviews, notes, and timelines.

Considering the varied modes and rituals of reading

  • Different reading devices accessing a central system allows for reader’s needs and situation
  • Diary capabilities, GPS location tags for where material was read
  • Timelines showing crucial events throughout the book, and also an overall timeline of reader’s history of read books
  • Sound and ambient video recording in some hardware devices, allowing users to remember real-word situations and locations while reading books

Developing an ecosystem
System stays open with bookstore AND online presence for sales. Purchasing can still be a physical event, with stores and retail experiences.

  • In a retail store: books have a microchip that allows previewing/purchasing with or without physical book via your device or a central checkout connected to your account
  • Your purchase/borrow/swap is automatically added to the “online social shopping experience”
  • A web application stores your profile and timeline
  • Ability to share and connect with friends, family, colleagues
  • Read & write reviews, notes, see suggested recommendations, preview readings, and purchase stories
  • Document reading and experiences with timelines
  • Access and reference related video, audio and other media

Submission by Beatriz Vizcaino, Derek Chan, & Russell Maschmeyer (SVA MFA in Interaction Design, Class of 2011)

The Sensual Experience

One of the primary objectives we wished to address with our device was to maintain the material characteristics of paper books. Flexibility and durability are important facets of paper books that we wished to replicate, and although not all characteristics can be completely translated digitally, we sought to focus our efforts on the ones we deemed to create the most experiential and emotional attachment.

Our device is made of a flexible paper-like silicone. At it’s largest, it measures 11 x 17 inches, but the ability for it to be folded means it can shrink to the size of a typical paperback novel. The decision to leverage flexibility in this case was to humanize digital hardware, in the sense that this device should not be perceived as precious, and is completely at the mercy of its owner and however they wish to use it.

The device reads newspaper content perfectly at its full size but can be turned 90° clockwise to create a book-like experience similar to that of an average non-fiction reference book. The device can be folded to emulate the experience of reading a novel-sized book. At any point during the reading experience, users may unfold or fold the device to the size they are comfortable with in the context of their environment.

Like with paper books, the material used for the device is also highly durable, and can even show signs of wear and tear over time if not kept in optimal conditions. This however will not hinder the operation of the device and becomes a personal characteristic that is shared between owner and device.

The next key characteristic of reading paper books we wished to address is the act of turning pages. Because our device does not include actual paper pages, content is digitized on the device’s panels. Page turning is accomplished through a gestural interaction similar to that of turning physical pages. A swipe of the reader’s finger(s) over the top or bottom edge of the reading panes will cause the pages to turn. The act of page turning is further reinforced graphically as it occurs. Readers may turn pages in either direction and in any variation of speed.

The computer on the device can also make use of a reference/dictionary component that helps readers understand what they are reading on the fly if they choose to use it.

Reading and its Social Contexts

To many, reading is a social event and can be described as such through a variety of activities. One of the key advantages to storing reading content digitally is the ease of wide-spread content proliferation. However, like owning a book, a book owner can not and should not be able to just lend their book(s) to multiple people at the same time. We felt that rules needed to be established to maintain the book lending/borrowing paradigm. With our device, users may lend a book to their friends but in doing so, the content effectively leaves their device until the borrower returns their book to them by re-sending the content back to the original device. Using the device’s computer, however, the owner, may impart a set of parameters on the book they are lending. For example, they may set a time limit for which the book automatically returns to the owner when it expires. Another parameter would be whether the owner wishes to show their personal markings on the book or to hide them when the book is being borrowed.

Because of the flexible nature of the device, the experience of reading to children can also be enhanced by unfolding the device to larger sizes to show pictures or even to allow children to read with their parents in a size that is viewable by everyone. These are just some examples of the social considerations we’ve taken into account.

The Rituals of Reading

How we engaged this topic was thinking about how our device could hinder certain rituals of reading. We felt that our device did not negatively impact any particular ritual of reading.

For example, our device is adaptable to many environments and circumstances, such as reading on transit. Where stops are frequent, the device includes a bookmarking feature that can be enabled by the reader. A circling gesture of the page number engages this feature, and when the book is tucked away, the position of the book is saved for the next time they decide to pull out the device to read.

When reading before they go to sleep, the flexible nature of the device along with its ability to fold down to the size of a novel helps readers feel at comfort with their reading material.

The Reading Ecosystem

Institutions that carry physical books need to be re-evaluated in order to support our device. This, however, does not necessarily need to be a huge overhaul. For instance, libraries should continue to house physical paper books but also contain terminals where device-owning users can search for and download library materials to their device. Once downloaded, they may continue to check-out the book with their library card and proceed to take the books out. Once the due date has been reached, the books will automatically be removed from their devices, unless they chose to renew.

Another cross-industry component would be the inclusion of sound in the books that can be downloaded. The music industry has the opportunity to create music with their books that get downloaded with the reading material. While reading, users may choose to turn on the book’s music to help enhance their reading experience. This provides a huge market opportunity for the music industry that could transform how people read.

Submission by Stephanie Aaron, Kristin Grafe, Eric St. Onge (SVA MFA in Interaction Design, Class of 2011)

The PaperBack

We envision one future of digital reading to take the form of a device we’re calling the PaperBack.

The PaperBack is a dual sided, flexible, 11" x 17" touch screen display. Each side is built of 8 individual 5.5" x 4.25" panels seamlessly joined together to make easily foldable sizes along the panels’ edges. The device would have a thin layer of foldable electronics between each display to give the device some mass and weight so it doesn’t feel like you’re reading off of a flimsy piece of a paper. It should be comfortable wherever you take it to read.

To start, open the book and use the touchscreen to read a book from your library or buy one from the store. The PaperBack would connect wirelessly and download the books you share. You could also have the option of selling books you have finished to friends for store credit.

To read, unfold the device to the size you prefer. You could fold to its smallest size to read a trade paperback. Unfold once to view a novel at a more convenient size.

The left and right sides of the display would show a graphic indicating the number of pages remaining or completed. The graphic would resemble the depth of a book with many more pages to go.

Since the display is dual sided, the side you are not reading would show the book’s cover. Other people could see what book you’re reading and offer recommendations or ask questions.

To turn the page, you would flip the book over. The new side would show your new page, and the new back would update to show the cover. Flip the book in the other direction to turn the page in the opposite direction.

Even better, if you find someone who has their own PaperBack, you could press the open PaperBacks together to share the content temporarily between the devices.

To turn the device off, simply close the pages together and hold. The device would turn back on when you reopen it.

Advertisements, posters, and kiosks could also have built-in PaperBack connections, so you could press your PaperBack against your environment to explore something of interest that you see.

When you’re finished reading, you would be able to fully unfold the device and store it on your bookshelf to show the spines of books in your collection. You could touch the display to explore your library.

Submission by Richie Lau, Evinn Quinn, Michael Katayama (SVA MFA in Interaction Design, Class of 2011)

STAX “Bendable Book”

A STAX reader will allow you to navigate books and pages by bending the corner, in some degree mimicking the experience when one reads a regular book. It uses flexible OLED’s and touch screen technology.

Trying to keep the tactile experience of books while using the motion of gestures and page flipping. It uses a touch screen for interacting with information for example, highlighting, marking content and navigation.

It has additional pages so you can hold up to 3 books, which allows for cross-referencing and a portable storage drive.

You can interact with the library from the inside cover, and the back cover allows for social interactions by making it easy to collaborate, share and connect with other people. Features include page clippings, notes, shared book lists and common interests.

Its flexibility, portability and thinness allows you to read anywhere. The lighting of the book will change depending on your environment.

The Stax ecosystem allows you to create a community that connects writers and readers, through its online store.

Submission by Carmen Dukes, John Finley, Angela Huang (SVA MFA in Interaction Design, Class of 2011)

We are proposing a set of digital books that provide the tactile feedback and interaction of a physical book with gestures and functionality that augment the reading experience in a digital setting.

The Digital Book
Our digital book has multiple components to ensure a satisfying reading experience regardless of the reader’s goal.

Our digital books are composed of pages which maintain the kinetic reading experience. While the feel of the pages simulates a physical book, the pages includes varying levels of interactivity (described below) that enhances the reader’s connection with the content on a sensory level.

All books contain a stylus, allowing a reader to create notes and interface with the book through menus and options. The stylus is customizable, allowing the reader to change the color of the writing very easily.

Search the readers digital library
A swipe of the front cover of the book, allows a reader to easily change the book’s title.

Menu Options
Every page gives users a variety of options to interact with their book. They can change the books internal appearance (page, text settings, etc), adjust stylus output, accessibility, share and save content.

The digital book can include a set of generic menu options that are always present no matter what type of book is being read as well as a specific set of options that may be related to book club interactions, learning, a reader’s social network, or other content specific interactions.

Include the sensual
Much of reading is all about the sensual experience. Our digital books provide an experience that mimics the physical, with pages, hard and soft covers, and an external representation of the book (book cover). Reader’s can display their different digital books proudly on their shelves, therefore maintaining their identity. We anticipate some types of books being utilized more than often (dictionary vs. cookbook vs. fiction book), so readers who prefer to display their books as objects/art/artifacts can have the option of owning multiple digital books instead of (or in addition to) one book that holds all of their library. (More information described in Modes)

Support the social side of reading
We realize that the act of reading happens before the book is opened and after the book is closed. Our book allows users to do many things with others who are engaged in the reading process

1. A centralized place
Our digital book is tied to a web service which ties together multiple users through a social network. From the website, users can find other book lovers, exchange ideas and comments on their readings, and manage the books they read.

2. Digital Book Clubs
With paper books, people can get together and share their thoughts around a work they all enjoy. We wanted to carry that through to the digital book we were developing as well. Users can join ‘digital book clubs’ where they join together in a more asynchronous fashion. At the end of each chapter, users can share and view discussions right in the book.

3. Book Tracking
When you finish a chapter in a given reading, the book updates the site with your status. through a central dashboard, you can view your progress in all of your books. When you add your friends to the site, you can compare progress as you discuss.

4. A Personal Notebook
When you write notes, record audio notes, and bookmark pages, your book knows. When you save these items in the book, they are backed up to the website. That way, your notes and purchases are preserved if your digital book is lost or stolen.

Consider the varied modes and rituals of reading
Readers are increasing their skill set and acquiring new knowledge, while others read for pleasure and entertainment. Our digital book contains a set of features to augment all of these tasks.

1. Note Taking
The reader can use their stylus to take notes in the margins of the book

2. Keyboard
The reader can also type notes into the book. With the tap of the stylus. The text would shift down or to one page and a virtual keyboard would appear allowing a user to type in notes and comments

3. Voice Recording
The reader can record audio notes on any page of the book and save and share.

4. Gestures
The reader can use their fingers to:
Highlight text
Delete notes
Bookmark Pages
Copy, save, and send text

5. Test comprehension
Text books could benefit greatly from a digital extension/version of the book. Our proposal includes the ability to incorporate interactive quizzes at the end of of chapters for users to take. The digital book would give feedback on the given answers by providing the correct answers and highlighting the areas in the book that correspond with the question and answer.

6. Adjustments to text
Based on the reading mode, through a menu, a user can change the font type, size, color, and weight. They can also adjust the appearance based on lighting conditions (ex. bedtime reading vs. outdoor reading).

7. Reading Aloud
Our digital book offers a text to speech option. A reader can choose to have the book read to them in a variety of voices (celebrity, author) or genres (scary, serious).

8. Bookmarking
While reading, the book maintains the readers position in real-time. In the case of interstitial reading - where reading often ends abruptly - when the reader closes the book,the pages that have been read are color coded indicating at-a-glance, read vs. non-read pages.

The Ecosystem of Reading
With a large enough user base, our system will be able to provide recommendations to users on many different levels. In paper books, the publisher will write information about the author and their related works. We want to take that one step further and bring outside books and readings right into the book. Beyond a biography of the author, we have expanded the role of the dust jacket and inside cover to include recommendations by your friends, other people in the network, and a searchable listing of other things written by that author.

Book Buying Process
Bookstores still exist in our ecosystem, a reader could browse a physical bookstore as they normally would. The purchase process, however would change. To buy a book, a reader could use their digital book to scan the physical book and instantly the book would download to their digital reader. Alternatively, if the reader did not have their digital book, the reader could take the physical book to the store counter and purchase the book by entering his user name/password/pin associated with the digital account. After a successful transaction, the book would download and the user would know that they have new content when the digital book glows.

Submission by Gene Lu, Chiawei Liu (SVA MFA in Interaction Design, Class of 2011)

Our product is an e-reader similar to the shape and size of the Kindle. The reading screen is located on the front of the device along with a complementary display unit on the back. Built into the top of the e-reader is an eye tracker. With our e-reader, we attempt to address the four principles in creating a rich, digital reading experience. Please note that the idea of an ecosystem is mentioned throughout the other three principles below.

Type Resizing
Utilizing eye-tracking technology built into the e-reader, the device is able to detect how far the screen is held with respect to the reader’s eyes. When the screen is held closer to the face, the type gradually reduces in size. If held further away, the type size increases. This feature supports the interstitial mode of reading. With type resizing to maximize legibility, users will be able to read in stop-and-go situations, such as standing on a crowded train or sitting next to someone on a bus.

E-Reader & E-reader Skin
When loading a story onto the e-reader, the display unit on the backside of the device will display the content’s book cover. This feature creates a sense of identity for the reader by communicating to others what book they are reading.

As with most digital products, the e-reader comes with accessories, in this case, e-reader skins. There is a wide range of skins that simulates the texture of whatever your preference may be. Perhaps an old, wrinkly, book feel for that story on the Civil War you’ve been catching up on. Or how about a soft, sandy skin for the picture book about Egypt? These various skins help support the e-reader’s ecosystem. With a huge variety of skins to choose from, customers will form a bond with their products through customization and differentiation.

Turning Pages
Instead of tapping on a button to turn a page, your finger swipes the surface of the display. A visual representation of a page fold in the lower corner of the screen designates the area for the finger swipe. Unlike most systems that utilize swiping, this device has force feedback on the swipe. As you slide your finger from right to left to turn to the next page, a varying force would be fed back to your finger (refer to “Force of Gravity” vs Page Turn). This resistive force slowly increases until you go ¾ of the way through the swipe and then the resistance drops to zero. This simulates the same kinesthetic when turning the page of a book.

Our last sensual feature of the e-reader is the force feedback the device provides based on where your eyes are on the reading display. In order to create an engaging experience, especially for children, the e-reader would have varying levels of vibrations based on content, e.g. a book about lightning and thunder.

Sharing Books
People can connect to other people’s e-readers by enabling their Bluetooth connectivity on their device. With this connection enabled, an e-reader can view other people’s shared libraries and download the books they are interested in. However, people (the Sharee) downloading content can only view the digital book once. When the digital book is closed and then reopened, the Sharee is unable to view the book again. The only option is for them to purchase the book from the online bookstore. This feature satisfies the need to share content at social events, such as book club meetings, without jeopardizing the profits of digital book publishers.

The idea of book sharing is incentivized by bookstores offering a small commission to the people that have books downloaded from their e-reader and then purchased at the online bookstore.

The online bookstore also offers customers their own personal online bookshelf where they can store their books and show others what they have been currently reading. A small commission by the bookstore also incentivizes this online sharing by readers.

After finishing a book, the e-reader connects to social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook and posts an update informing others of what you’ve just read. This opens up a few popular channels of communication for further discussion of books.

It is hard to read a book while we are moving (e.g. walking or standing on a bus). The e-reader uses “eye tracking” technology to let words on screen move in relation to eyes. This prevents motion sickness and allows for increased ease of reading especially when experiencing a bumpy commute to work.

In Bed
When people read in bed, they would use a soft skin for their e-reader so that they can rest their head on it in case they fall asleep.

Thanks everyone for checking out our submission!

My idea for a new digital reader is called the BooKuff. The BooKuff is a wearable reading device that eliminates the paper waste problem of books, magazines and newspapers while maintaining the tactile sensation of page turning. With maximum portability, BooKuff would be perfect for reading on the subway, in the park or at a neighborhood coffee shop.

The digital Kuff is worn like a watch and a large variety of styles would be available to choose from to support the individuality of each wearer. Within the Kuff is a thin flexible OLED screen that unfolds to the comfortable shape and size of a paperback. It is a single screen, but after unfolded it can be held like a book and will be programmed to move the next page when the user taps the two face together by simply closing and opening the screen quickly. When they are finished reading they simply refold the screen and feed it back into the Kuff through a slot that detect it and pull it in with ease.

On BooKuff.com, BooKuff members would be able to order books and magazines, and create a personal profile to interact with other members by reviewing books and magazines, and recommending them to their friends. Books, magazines, newspapers and blogs could be downloaded directly to the Kuff and then transmitted to the removable screen. New Kuff styles could be generated often to keep members interested, as well as new Kuff designs that are worn in different ways, like a belt buckle for example. With BooKuff, reading is not only fun but fashionable, and it appeals to all generations.

Alison Uljee

this is my e-book
it’s separated in two parts - the reading unit and the book card. You got to have your own reading unit, the cards with books you can exchange

This book of the future makes the best use of technology without compromising the essence of a book.

The dimensions would be the size of the average paperback book - a size that is easy to carry around and comfortable to hold with one hand. The outer covers can come in a variety of colors/designs to make it feel personalized. To ensure its durability, the covers will be hard to protect the inner screens. The front cover has a small window where the title of the book is displayed.
The book opens up to reveal two screens. The screens display the pages of the book, two at a time. Although there are no physical pages to turn, the experience is retained because in order to turn to the next/previous page, the reader must place their thumb and another finger on the screen and slide their fingers together. The screens turn on when the book is opened and turn off when the book is closed. However when re-opened, the book will be on the page that the reader last read before closing the book.

Varied Modes:
On the binding of the cover, there is a knob that can be adjusted to make the light in the screen brighter or dimmer depending on where the book is read. For example, in an airplane, although there is a light bulb overhead, one needs to position the book based on the angle that the light shines down. Also, the light can bother the people sitting nearby. However by adjusting the light on the screen itself, the overhead light is not necessary, and the light is shining where it is most needed.
On the two covers, there are also two flaps that can be pulled out in order to form a book stand. This is not only helpful for the reader’s posture, but it can be used when one’s hands are full.

Within the binding of the cover, there is also a stylus which can be used to annotate while reading. Another unique function is “boxing off” quotes or passages that the reader wants to remember or even share with others. Any comments, scribbles or boxes drawn on the screen will be saved onto a small usb memory stick that can be uploaded onto one’s computer.

To find books to read, one can download it through online bookstores into their own usb stick. Another source is to go to a bookstore and purchase pre-downloaded books on small usb sticks. And of course, one can borrow/lend books from friends or the library. The great thing about exchanging books with friends is that one’s comments/boxed off passages can also be shared since it is saved onto the same usb stick.

I purposely did not include wireless/internet functions in this book because it adds too many distractions to the book. A book is read to enjoy what is in it. If you want to find out more information about something, you can use your computer. I believe even a futuristic book should still be a book.

This digital reader would feature a leather or cardboard (hardcover) front and back with a flexible spine to give the device a ‘real’ book feel. Keeping a similar feel and texture to a paper book, the cover can acquire traits like bent corners; it can age, get stained or be marked up. This will help traditional readers enjoy reading an electronic book. Inside the covers would be two thin touch screens on each side, allowing a traditional ‘page-to-page’ reading style. With the two screens laid out like a traditional paper book, it can be folded and read similar to the way a real book can be folded to suit different reading positions or comforts. Plastic housing surrounding the screens would be minimal and as subtle as possible. The key is to bring as little attention as possible to the technology involved in the device while still enhancing the reading experience.

A simple interface would contain a home screen that let users browse through their library, continue reading their current book where it was last bookmarked and shop for new titles. To keep a less digital feel to this reading experience, when the device is picked up to continue a book, it would open up to the last bookmarked page, other than a menu that would allow you to chose to keep reading. A home button as well as ‘turn page back’ and ‘turn page forward’ buttons would be found on the housing of the internal screens. Users could also turn pages by swiping their fingers on the corners of the page. Other features would include a USB port for charging, small speakers for book reading and a headphone jack.

The book would use both an internal library (memory) to store books (possibly 100 titles) as well as feature SD card slots bought in store like a regular book. The cards would come in a unique packaging, (possible a recycled cardboard/paper booklet) a little smaller than your average paper book. This is what would be displayed in the user’s home library. The cover art on the front, brief summary in the back, the packaging would wear like a real book and could be shared similar to a real paper book. Utilizing the compact nature of an SD card, companies could begin to sell and create unique and popular collector’s edition e-book packages featuring more than one title. Examples: A Stephen King collector’s edition featuring 10 of his most popular titles on 5 SD cards in a collector’s package, or a collection of children’s novels all in the same booklet for a cheaper price. Some of these special offers could feature added material such as literature related to the books topic, video interviews with the author and possibly the books movie trailer.

Using an online store and social networking people can buy sell and donate e-books. Similar to some mp3 stores, books could be bought once and be shared to friends and family to be read on their e-reader a maximum number of times. People could create their own networks with their family, friends or coworkers that allows them to share or view other peoples libraries, see who’s reading what, what books are being bought among friends, view comments or reviews, and even recommend a friend to read a newly purchased book.

Biblio - File

The most basic problem with digital readers is that people who love books don’t love them. They are cold, they dont smell like old paper, you cant fold them over while you are reading in bed. The answer is not to change the digital reader to meet an audience that already loves books, but to market a digital reader to an audience that would love to have a smaller easier to use version of what already exists.

The perfect answer was to design a simple digital reader for students. The design i have included is grade school and middle school. The Biblio-File is small, easily fits in a backpack, and can hold all of the information contained in a Math Textbook, History Textbook, Biology Textbook, or any other large heavy book that is the bane of a young students existence.

The Biblio-File is designed to have a video game style interface and to easily fit into a schoolbag. You can use the buttons for the menu, to shrink and enlarge the text, and scroll through the pages (there would also be a touch screen version for teenagers/college students). A USB cable outlet has been designed into the Biblio-File so that you can connect to your home computer (no matter how old it is) and charge the unit from your home computer or from a plug. You can also update your textbooks from year to year cutting the cost and the waste of reprinting college textbooks every year. There is no WiFi connection, so that teachers can use the device in class without having to worry about students browsing the internet or playing games.

Designed by Huang Yanying
Product Design major
School of Art, Design & Media
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Digital reading devices are increasingly being conceptualized and developed as a single repository of many books. A book used to be a physical entity with its own book cover treatment, appearance and visual identity. Now a book in a digital reader is a collection of immaterial text, with no physical or tactile attributes to differentiate it from other books.

Every book is different. What current digital book readers take away from the reading experience is the unique physical and visual identity of each book. They take away the book’s capability to project outside of what is inside.

I am proposing the application of the folding origami concept to digital books.

A “book” will be a single sheet of shape memory electronic paper that can be pre-programmed to remember one (or several) folded origami shapes. A book is presented in an origami shape that is relevant to its contents. When a user takes a book to read it, it will unfold automatically into a flat reading digital screen. When the e-book is not needed, it will revert back to its folded origami shape.

The book can further track when the user has paused his/her reading and update its origami form or visuals to reflect the story’s progress.

A book will no longer be a restrictive flat functional box, but a changeable form that is rich in nuances and interaction with its user. Publishers and authors can now draw on the rich tradition and different cultural aspects of paper folding to add another dimension to their storytelling.

On a personal note, I feel much of what is cultural and human is in danger of being unwittingly lost with the mass adoption of designs that (more frequently than not) pursue the rational and the functional over what is meaningful. Yet, it is these cultural behaviors and human rituals that make our interaction with the world richer. While we can’t turn back time and reject the march of technology, it is still possible to combine the old and the new, so what is worth preserving is not lost.

The electronic book will likely become a media platform which supports more than just downloadable books.
The following sketches illustrate my ideation around how the e-book can provide a rich experience in various environments.

Separating the Book’s Brain from Its Body

Paper books are cheap and variable—they can be precious or disposable, sturdy or fragile, beautiful or utilitarian. The Kindle and other e-books, on the other hand, contain electronics that are capable of downloading and storing content, saving mark-up, and negotiating content rights, electronics that are inherently expensive and precious. So I propose separating the smart (and expensive) part of digital reading from the manipulated artifact.

Paper books are sensual and kinesthetic experiences, but the experience is different from book to book. Paperbacks are light and soft, with pulpy and fragile pages. Hardcover design books are heavy and hard, with thick, glossy pages. Kids books sometimes have cardboard pages. Magazines can be rolled, newspapers folded, and reference books are made to stand on shelves. Digital reading in the future will need to provide the same kind of varied experiences that support the differing motivations, settings, and content of books.

The book brain can be a device with much stronger personal ownership than the book body. It is a piece of core personal electronics like the mobile phone, that you always carry with you, protect, and don’t loan to other people. The brain broadcasts the current text to display (via Bluetooth or some similar wireless technology) to the book body, which contains the bare minimum of technology to display the text, transmit notes back to the brain device, and support the page turn gesture.

Paper books do all have a few things in common despite their differences—pages that turn and can be marked, written on, and torn. All book bodies would support the SAME page turn gesture, a diagonal swipe. All book bodies would support marking (thumbing) a page, and most would support annotating. All marking and annotating would be transmitted to the brain device and saved, so it could appear on whichever body you are currently using.

Varied Modes
One of the benefits of digital reading is the environmental benefit of not needing a physical book for every story, but we will probably still need different physical artifacts for our different modes of reading. You could have a large, glossy, and flat body for the coffee-table top. For reading while traveling or on public transportation you could have a cheap and compact book body that might not support notes, but that you wouldn’t be heartbroken if you lost. You could have a backlit, soft cover book body for reading in bed. You could have a sturdy, rubber-edged, and easy to hold book body for your kids.

Your personal book brain device travels with you for all of your personal modes of reading. It can be worn, or carried in a pocket or purse, or placed on the nightstand. A larger home library brain device could live on a shelf in your home, and certain book bodies could be synced to a specific title—like books on display or reference books. Your personal device can borrow or add book data to the home library device. Some book bodies allow the personal device to be docked to the body, reuniting the body and brain of the book, for example for kids who might have a harder time understanding the separation.

The manufacture and design of the brain devices would be constrained to a single standard to maximize compatibility (like an API), but the marketplace for design and construction of book bodies and accessories would be open (like apps). This way the book bodies could meet varying demands, and improve as the available e-paper and haptics technologies improve and become affordable.

Book data would be available for purchase and download from online sellers. Brick and mortar booksellers could offer instant downloads to your device, and if you don’t have your device with you, they can text you a code to access the content when you are able to download it. They could also sell the different types of bodies—airport bookshops could sell replacement flimsy bodies, mall bookstores could sell fancy and decorative book bodies. You could also buy special collector’s packages for content that is emotionally resonant—Twilight or Harry Potter custom book bodies with the complete series text, for example.

You could pass a book to a friend, complete with any notes you’ve added, simply by bumping your device with theirs. This would remove the book from your device and add it to theirs, just like handing over your paper copy which is part of the precious and yet transient quality of books. This also helps with rights management and preserves the timeless tradition of asking for your copy back. You can also email them your copy, or burn it to a ‘blank’ book body (a very cheap digital reader body that imprints once with text and then cannot be re-imprinted, like CDs).

If multiple people are broadcasting the same book in the vicinity of a book body, it displays markup from both devices. This way you can mark up a book at home, then view together with someone and see your combined notes. This would also enable serendipitous discovery of someone nearby reading the same text as you.

The device itself can be worn (showing the title you are currently reading) as an identity display, and the book body you carry will say a lot about you. Do you carry a sleek and white book body? Do you carry a Twilight book body? Do you carry an ultra-tiny or a large-format book body? Do you carry it in your pocket or in your briefcase? Additionally, smart clothing and accessories like book bags could read and display the title of the book currently being broadcast by your device.

(Final thought: I also find some romance in the idea of these book bodies coming to life with content as you approach them. They are utilitarian and physical, but become rich with seductive stories and imagination through their interaction with you.)

My concept uses plastic plates as the “book” which contain the text on a solid state memory chip, and a “reader” which contains the processor, memory, sensors for interface, and the projector for the display. Using plastic plate books accomplishes several things. First is makes the books durable and cheap to manufacture. Second it makes it easy to share, loan, trade, or sell your books. Once a book is placed in the reader it is stored in memory until the book is finished, this allows sharing without copy write issues as well as the ability to carry multiple books at a time. With the use of a digital-book shelf users can also display their book collection as they would with printed books. The reader comes with a “blank book” for general use, like for downloaded books or if you don’t want to show what you’re reading. It uses a simple gesture interface. Flicking your finger down on the corner advances the book one page, flicking your finger up brings you to the previous page. This simple gesture keeps the classic feel of turning pages in a book. Users can also bookmark pages. These are represented by tabs on the top of the page, allowing you to quickly switch between non-consecutive pages. A stylus is also provided for taking notes and making comments. The reader would have wireless capabilities to allow downloading of new material. This would also open up a whole world of social reading possibilities. The reader could automatically update your facebook or twitter status when you finish a book complete with your comments. Users could use it to get or give recommendations for new books or to look up words or phrases they are not familiar with. I believe this concept brings together the best of both the printed and digital reading experiences

Design by, Manny Darden, Jae Yeop Kim & Scott Liao
Graduate Candidates, Media Design Program
Art Center College of Design

The Page
Adaptive Delivery Device

One of the major benefits of having gadgets is that it constantly connects us to the world and what’s happening in it. Though these technological devices have allowed us to interact with data from anywhere we choose, there isn’t a unique delivery system for the information they’re delivering especially when “news” is concerned. The printed versions of newspapers can offer mobility, much like a device, but access to content can be cumbersome in certain reading situations. How do we combine the affordances of print and online versions of news and translate that hybrid into a single device? A medium that conforms to human practices and the varied scenarios of accessing news.

A device that truly considers the daily scenarios of our audience as they engage with news content.

Familiar, Classic, Adaptive.

The first question we ask is, “what if there was a device that inherited all the affordances of print, and screen based news formats.” Our goal is to design a flex­ible grid system that attacks this question. The user is presented information in an aesthetic which is much more inline with print but then can navigate through the content to access different sections and objects of the paper which is a behavior accustom to online practices. The second question we ask is, “what if the device is adaptive to the activity or environment of the user while he or she is immersed with the content?” The strategy we have set forth is to allow the form of the device to be physically manipulated using the practice of folding to harmonize with the situation in which the user is engaged.

Design by, Judy Bacalso
Industrial Design Program UPVCC
University of the Philippines

Design brief:

OPOB '09 is a ‘‘one page, one book’’ concept designed to make reading more essential and dynamic. It is made more simple and easy to use digital reading device where it has a special LCD system made to improvised technical features that contains all the information of a 1 Book. Attached on its left side is the special system manipulating all the information and settings to help guide the readers.

This ‘‘one page, one book’’ concept contains more than just an information which has more digital features such as; moving images/pictures, topic trailers/Videos/Graphics, Zooming Letters/ Resizing letters for eye-problem users, Language translators/ Audio translators, Music player, Games/Word puzzles, Calendar and time Display updates, and a special Headset connector. A flexible, water-proof, solar/power charging and a space saving device for maintenance.

Readers can easily compile all the page books together in one cover by attaching and connecting them with the use of its magnetic system ( another way to conserve space in all storage areas ). It can be also removed from the compiled Pages and can be easily placed anywhere you go ( bookmarks can also be useful in case the readers wants to find the desired page book to use ). For social purposes, ‘‘one page, one book’’ can be easily share to other people and other page books. Readers will have to connect the number of desired page books with the use of its own system settings to duplicate or copy any desired topic or information they want to share.

By: Judyli89 UPVCC

Design by, Siegfred Jorge
Industrial Design Program UPVCC
University of the Philippines