Thursday, 15 March 2012

Enhanced E-Books

It seems that the next step to reading on a tablet device is to read enhanced books on a tablet device.  Enhanced books are ones with extra features: music, video clips, pictures - even, apparently, 3D images.  I've recently heard of two different projects that use enhancements.

First up is an iPad app called Aria Hahn - The Sena Project, by J. M. Carnright.  Here's a description:

"ARIA HAHN" - a cinematic interactive ebook, reveals a disturbing allegory to our own world society - both past, present and likely future life. The setting unveils a far future stellar system human society sharing Space with other forms of advanced intellect. This stellar system alliance of human life is facing both dire issues with Nature and growing rebellion within its societal structure, ignoring most other intellect for its own survival. This enovel embodies a love story, adventure, interstellar political turbulence, far far astral journeys via a magnificent Natural intellect and deeply rooted environmental consequences all culminating within one of life's most desperate of tragedies yet to be experienced.

The physical makeup of our ARIA HAHN enovel incorporates 648 written pages; music when appropriate - rock and symphonic(all music is original - created, written, composed and mixed for ARIA HAHN by ASCAP Composer, Pat Portfolio), Sound Effects & Mixing (created by Academy Award Winning Musician/Composer, Brian Keane); 40 + minutes of Cinematic Scenes; CGI, Special Effects, Original Artwork; Voice Overs, Interactive Imagery and more. Equally, it introduces our contribution to a rapidly formulating interactive multimedia trend that fully blends designed configurations of cinema, literature, music and art as cinebooks for the future. 

You can learn more about J. M. Carnright's work on his website.

And today I got a press release from Phuture News about using the Kindle Fire for what they're calling an augmented reality platform for their series of interconnected novellas, Atopia.

Today author Matthew Mather announced the release of the Atopia series of novellas, the first to use the Amazon Kindle or other reading device as an augmented reality viewing platform. Using augmented reality markers embedded in the stories, readers are able to view fully 3D images of the world of Atopia "floating" above their Kindle. Everything to experience this effect is available for free right now, including a free limited time offer (March 15th -18th) of the first Atopia story. To try it out for yourself, just click here to go to Amazon to download for free today, or type "Atopia" into your Kindle (or Kindle app on PC or iPad), download "Atopia 1 - Blue Skies" and then follow the instructions at the end of the story. 
"The ability to use augmented reality to add an extra dimension to storytelling is very powerful," said author and technologist Matthew Mather. "Now that we've demonstrated it's possible, I think you'll begin to see a lot of other books using this technique to illustrate concepts. In less than a week after its release, Atopia has shot into the top five of new tech sci-fi releases on Amazon." 
Blue Skies is the first novellette of Atopia, a near future world without borders that teeters on the brink of post-humanism and eco-Armageddon. The series breaks new ground not just with its use of augmented reality, but also in the way it organizes its content. All the novelettes begin at the same moment and cover the same stretch of time, focusing on one specific character story line. Each story paints a new brushstroke against the canvas of the world, gradually combining together to reveal a deeper mystery that connects them all together. 
Each novellette is a story unto itself and can be read by itself, and in fact there is no particular order to read them. They can be read in the suggested order, or read in whatever order the reader chooses to create their own unique experience. 
Atopia is also unique as it brings to life many of the objects and characters in the book as an experiment in "real life" augmented reality. The futuring portal, a key element in the series of books, is a real website that readers can visit. As well, many of the characters are brought to life, with their own LinkedIn and Facebook pages. See if you can find them out there! ***

Have you tried an enhanced ebook yet?  If so, what did you think of it?  If not, does the idea of multi-media integrated into your book appeal to you?

*** One of the fun things about technology is that it never seems to work correctly the first time  :) .  I don't have a kindle or the kindle app, so I didn't try viewing this myself, but apparently others had trouble downloading and seeing the image.  This morning I received an email from Mr Mather:

Many apologies, but after talking with a few people it seems there was a technical issue with the augmented reality target in "Atopia 1 - Blue Skies" yesterday that made it difficult for some people to view the augmented reality image.

I have corrected the issue with an updated version. If you had any problems seeing the augmented reality image yesterday (it should work very easily!) you can upload a new augmented reality image by downloading "Atopia 2 - Timedrops" (the 2nd part of the series) right now (it is $0.99 cents...)...

...or you can download a new copy of "Atopia 1 - Blue Skies" tomorrow (Saturday) by following the instructions below  ...

To load a new copy of Atopia 1 you would need to erase your current version by following these steps

1) Type "my kindle" into search bar in
2) Cllick "manage my kindle" from list of options that appear
3) On list item "Atopia 1" that appears in your list of Kindle items, click "actions" and then choose option "delete"
4) Type "Atopia" in search bar and reload Atopia 1

Many apologies for any wasted time or is a very cool effect and I will make sure to test for thoroughly in the future...!

No comments: