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What Augmented Reality bring into reading activity?

Illustrations! Everyone loves them. Illustrations are a secret ingredient that improves readability of any book. The words being reinforced with pictures, help readers get the writer’s point for less effort from their side.

Thus, illustration increase text comprehension while readers do not get tired quickly. Here is why illustrated pop-up books are so popular.

But what if the author wants to explain a complex topic?

Here is where pop-up books help: when an explanation requires several pictures at once but it is still hard to imagine how the things work in the real world.

In this case, readers will need interactive (preferably, gamified) materials which they can study touching with their hands and seeing how the elements are connected with each other – physical experience will boost comprehension.

Another benefit of this approach: pop-up books enable to combine a story and a game making complex stories interesting and intelligible for audiences of different ages.

No wonder, pop-up books have been popular through Middle Age up to present time. Certainly, their aim changed with time: early pop-up books were mostly scholarly works until mid 18th century when first books for children appeared.

Back then, there were movable and mechanical books; the first book with truly 3D effects was published in 1929 – Daily Express Children’s Annual Number 1with illustrations to pop-up automatically and be viewed from all sides.

Pop-up books are still popular.

Even more: with technical progress, every book can become a pop-up books. It is simple. The readers need a smartphone and a special app.

For example, a Danish startup Book and Magic has published their version of fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” allowing kids to enjoy colorful animations, sounds, and mini-games when reading the book.

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Instead of distracting readers’ attention smartphone enable focusing on the right things or play with the story: with help of Augmented Reality. Thus, readers spend more time with their favorite stories and get more fun.

What new does Augmented Reality bring into reading activity?

Apart from wiping out the drawbacks of traditional pop-up books (limited space, limited text, need to be handled carefully), Augmented Reality introduces several benefits for publishers and their audience:

New content.

While pop-up books lack spare space making authors reduce descriptions or use only few illustrations, the amount of the content being delivered through a mobile app is almost unlimited.

Easy publishing

A book can be only updated when a it gets republished – time-consuming and requires resources. Also, the readers who own an old book do not get a new version. It is much simpler to update an app where everyone is happy about the new content.

Interactivity.

Static pictures become alive. Readers can almost hold a character in their hands, look at it from all angles, or play a game. Thus, they can spend more time enjoying their favorite books.

Artistic freedom

Now, the author’s inventory is much larger. Authors can simply introduce videos, sounds, animations, mini-games – any relevant activity to their books.

Almost no effort from the readers’ side

Everyone has a smartphone. All the readers need to access new content is to launch an AR ap. Every illustration can be a marker that activates a new element in an AR app when being put in front of a smartphone camera.

Last but not least, every book can become a pop-up book, literally. Thus, AR is a perfect technology for those artists who want to say more to a large audience with their books.

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