There’s a buzz building about a session at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference (which looks great, I wish I could have attended) from Manolis Kelaidis on his “blueBook”. Kelaidis is a designer at the Royal College of Art in London. His idea is to bring electronics to the book, rather than making books virtual. Here is the brief, from his presentation:
- Design a book consisting of sheets of paper with printed buttons (hyperlinks), which when touched allow the user to access and control digital information.
- Information accessed in this way could then be stored either locally (within the book) or remotely (PC, handheld devices, Web, other books).
- The book should have the look-and-feel of a regular book, with flipping pages and conventional binding, while technology should be non-intrusive, portable and robust.
- Manufacturing should be based on traditional bookbinding techniques minimizing complexity and costs.
Using conductive ink and embedded electronics, such a book can include multimedia (play music or video) and live links to web content or interactive discussions, perhaps in conjunction with a wireless-connected PC. Printed words become hyperlinks. The presentation is amazing and thought-provoking. See also Tim O’Reilly’s post on the subject and its comments.
Update: Presentation seems to have been removed; if it reappears I imagine it will do so here.