Emerging reading technology


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For my Creation and Computation class at OCADU, I examined the history of publishing and emerging technology that could be used in the publishing industry.

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Emerging reading technology

  2. 2. HISTORY OF READING TECHNOLOGY  1456: Printing press invented  Fuelled Renaissance and Reformation  New, literate merchant class with leisure time created demand for written entertainment and novels emerged as a medium  Hand-operated wooden press used for books, hardcovers which were then bound by hand  Prayer book in 1760 would have cost 3 shillings or $13.40 today  1870s: Industrial revolution and urbanization pushes the growth of public education and the creation of public libraries  Literacy skyrockets as reading becomes a family activity  1870: 10% of American children could read  1900: 20% of American children could read  Steam-driven mechanical lead type printing press makes the process more efficient, and books become cheaper
  3. 3. Memoirs of the Navy by Samuel Pepys, 1690 Woodcut images
  4. 4. 20TH CENTURY READING  Literacy continues to grow  United States: Enrollment rates for 5- to 19-year-olds rose from 51 percent in 1900 to 75 percent in 1940  Publishing houses begin to proliferate, undercut each other’s prices until the industry loses viability  Government agrees on system of price regulation for books at the turn of the century  Depression spurred the creation of the paperback and mass colour printing in order to maintain sales  Growing competition for leisure time  Television, Video games, Internet  New sources of support for reading as a preferred leisure activity  Oprah’s Book Club major force behind sales  Pressure to sell quickly builds in 1990s and 2000s  Publishers must now purchase space in book stores  Books given 6 weeks of active promotion before being declared successes or failures
  5. 5. OLD TO NEW MEDIA TRANSITIONS  After illegal downloading platforms (Napster, Megaupload) ravaged the music and movie industries, the publishing industry tried to pre-empt an illegal downloading platform for literature with e-readers  Largely successful  Users reluctant to ingest novels through their computer screen  1998: First eBook reader goes to market, the SoftBook and Gemstar’s Rocket eBook Reader  Could store 4,000 pages, or about 10 books with 16MB memory  Back and white screen, but capable of displaying images with 106 dpi, or 480x320 px  Users can enter text using Allegra  2009: Canadian private school Blyth Academy loads all textbooks onto Sony Readers  First school in the world to do so  2011: Amazon debuts Kindle Fire, not open source  Can only download Amazon books, movies, songs, magazines and TV shows with cloud  Colour touchscreen that enables users to highlight and write on their texts  Again, to prevent keep industry viable, publishing houses decide on price regulation  Illegal, not sanctioned by the government, price-fixing debacle
  6. 6. HOW CAN WE KEEP THE MEDIUM ALIVE AS TECHNOLOGY CHANGES?  In 2012, eBook sales surpassed hardcover sales in the United States  Total eBook sales reached $1.8 billion, 20% of publisher’s revenues  Users reluctant to upgrade models  1 in 3 Canadians buy a book each month  18% of Canadian readers use eReaders  Approx. 2,100,000 eReader users in Canada  Approx. 8,750,000 tablet users in Canada
  7. 7. OPEN SOURCE E-READERS  Different generations of the platform: ePub, ePub2 and now, ePub3  Kobo recently released all of its source code, enabling publishers to create more exciting eBook experiences  Reflowable layout or PDF: most widely-supported, font can be resized  XML offers opportunities for interactivity  Fixed-layout: HTML-based, supported in ePub3 and only in some ePub2 readers  Capabilities of XML and HTML-based eBooks Interactivity through touchscreens or stylus to link between images and pages Hyperlinking: can link any words or images to external sites, depending on the eReader specs Multimedia: can embed video (2D cut-out), animated gifs, and audio in fixed-layout eBooks Can have overlaping images and text with HTML, but in PDF, all content must be “boxed”
  8. 8. FIXED-LAYOUT (HTML) EBOOK Fixed Layout Reflowable
  9. 9. EMERGING SCREEN TECHNOLOGY  Crossover between eReader and tablet market  Many eReaders now behave like tablets (and many tablets now have eBook capabilities), which means they are equipped with motion sensors and cameras  New possibility for interactivity beyond the touch screen
  10. 10. CASE STUDY: THE THIRTY NINE STEPS (2013)  Faber and Faber worked with The Story Mechanics, a software developer, to create an interactive, visual eBook of John Buchanan’s classic thriller  Game-like controls allow user to navigate through scenes and read chapters, while dialogue is delivered through audio  Characters not pictured, ghost-like  App format, programmed using C++  http://thestorymechanics.com/digital-adaptations/the-thirty-nine- steps/
  11. 11. MICROFLUID  Arguments against eReader and tablet-based learning: not as effective as tactile/haptic learning in knowledge retention and learning engagement 2013 UNC Study:  “The haptic group was significantly more accurate in identifying the complex objects than the visual or visual plus haptic groups.”  “The haptic-only group of participants spent more time exploring the … virtual objects than the visual or visual plus haptic participants”  Microfluid to the rescue! Turns flat 2D screens into 3D screens  Can add buttons for navigation, raised outlines of images, and create a paper- texture  http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/06/tactus-technology- prototype-android-tablet-shows-off-shapeshifti/
  12. 12. TOUCH PROJECTION  Pioneering technology turns any surface into a touch screen  Moves reading experience beyond device  For children: Could add another tactile or haptic element to reading experience to enhance learning  For adults: Could be applied to eBook projects like The Thirty- Nine Steps, to enhance alternate reality experience  UBI available for $149, but same effect could be created using a backlit screen and motion or light sensors with Arduino and Processing
  13. 13. REFERENCES  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/482597/history-of        publishing/28622/The-flourishing-book-trade-1550-1800 http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/06/tactus-technology-prototype-androidtablet-shows-off-shapeshifti/ http://liliputing.com/2013/02/pandigital-novel-hacks-could-eventually-turn-a38-ereader-into-a-cheap-android-tablet.html https://github.com/kobolabs http://sparkslinux.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/an-open-source-ereader/ http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/summer02/money2.cfm http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/media/e-book-sales-a-boon-topublishers-in-2012.html?_r=0 http://ebookarchitects.com/learn-about-ebooks/enhancedebooks/#animations http://www.gizmag.com/microsoft-ubi-projection-touchscreen/28757/