Google patents augmented reality books

After the experiments with the “books that can’t be printed“, Google is not stopping in its rampage in the book world: this time the news are about two patents filed by the company that put into play augmented reality.

These two patents, originally filed in January 2015 at USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), are about technologies related to the books’ world.

The first one is about an “interactive book“, described inside the document also as a “storytelling device“. As we can read in the abstract, the device includes electronic components as light sources, speakers, a video projector or a display, and it is configured to establish a connection with an interactive book, providing story enhancement effects that are correlated to the story.
Basically, the project is about volumes with movement and pressure sensors, coupled with a round shaped device that plugs inside the spine of the book, throwing up AR-type images and the appropriate audio to recreate the setting of the story.

The second patent is about a “Media enhanced pop-up book“, a revisitation of the classic pop-up book with a sparkle of technology. Reading the filed document, we understand that Google thought to a physical book composed of pop-up pages and some content on the display of a device. For every page, the book will have a second page that will vertically open, plus some additional images appearing on the mobile device. In this kind of book, augmented reality is not as advanced as in the micro-projector case.

Of course, we are ttalking about patents,  so it’s not sure that they will become products available on the market. However these ideas, if added to the experiments about the books that can’t be printed, surely say a lot about Google’s fields of interest.

Sundance Film Festival and Star Wars together? It seems impossible, since we are talking about the most famous independent cinema festival and the well known mainstream space saga, but instead…this year it happened thanks to the presentation of The Holo-Cinema, a new technology that Disney is developing.

The Holo-Cinema is a new solution that joins cinema and augmented reality, and it’s in its development phase in the ILMxLAB division of Lucasfilm. For now, this technology has been studied to give the chance to the viewers to enjoy the Star Wars experience directly in their living room: simply wearing a pair of smart glasses, the user is able to explore various places of the saga, as Jakku desert, and to meet some famous characters as C-3PO and BB-8.
A Lucasfilm’s spokesperson explained The Holo-Cinema’s possibilities, including also an idea about opening some “portals” through reality that will permit the users to visit ambient and subplots that weren’t showed in the movies. “We can put more story out there”, he said.

Anyway, The Holo-Cinema is not the only news connected to alternative realities that we will see this year at the festival; another interesting project, in fact, caught the visitors’ attention: it’s called Leviathan Project and it wants to bring to the screens the Scott Westerfeld’s best-selling Leviathan trilogy of novels thanks to a mix of augmented and virtual reality. These are young-adult sci-fi books, so the theme itself is pretty good for a transposition in different kinds of reality: the story has among the main characters no less than Mary Shelley and Charles Darwin, and the period is the WWI one.
Leviathan Project is the result of a three-year collaborative effort between Alex McDowell’s 5D Global Studio, USC’s World Building Media Lab, Intel, and Unity and, thanks to the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets and also to special gloves equipped with motion sensors, it projects the viewer inside the books’ steampunk world, with the promise of letting him interacting with the objects around.

These two projects seem to be just the beginning of a revolution that, in the opinion of cinema experts and professionals, during next years will take to Sundance many projects related to new realities.

It seems that Kickstarter and Augmented reality are often a good couple: only two days ago, we talked about SEER and its reached goal of $100,000, today we give some news on another project launched on the same funding platform.

We are talking about the children book “Goodnight Lad”: in 2015 to learn reading and falling asleep with a goodnight story are not the same as in the past, because now there’s Augmented Reality. How Bradley Grimm and the little Logan explain us in the video below, you just have to download the app and to aim on the book to see marvelous animations giving life to the story.

All this because, as the creator says, if children love books, they’ll be anyway distracted by smartphones. Joining the forces, books and technology will help children learning to read earlier, easier and better. Opinion of a dad!