Sooner or later augmented reality will worm its way into most areas of our lives, due to the fact that we now demand interactivity in our immediate surroundings. One of the latest AR initiatives some would say has an educational benefit as it concerns children’s books and more importantly, reading.
Getting children to read is becoming an increasing problem for teachers in schools and by parents at home. With the rise of the digital age children are spending more and more time behind a screen and using electronic devices for their daily stimulation and interactivity requirements.
MagicBook is a company who recognise these problems and aims to change them. They are drawing on the fact that many children now use smartphones and ipads by developing an AR app which makes characters and illusions jump right off the page. The point of the app is primarily to encourage children aged 3-5 to read more through the medium, which they use the most. They deem an app to be the perfect tool to generate engagement in reading and enhance the, until now, quite un-interactive experience.
The way it works is simple, you open the app then select a book and hold it over the books pages and the book comes to life giving children a visual experience whilst reading. However, this may be a slowly developing initiative, as the app requires digital content to be created for a book before it can be rolled out in the app. Some traditional book publishers have been slow to embrace the idea.
So far the book ‘Where the Wild things are’ has been adapted to demonstrate how the idea works. They aim to add more titles to their library as soon as people start getting on board with the idea. However, it is expected that critics will slate the idea as it could be seen as stunting children’s imaginations. By providing images and animations for children when they are reading this won’t give them to chance to imagine and create fantasy lands and adventure stories in their own minds. Instead it just provides them with an image straight away. Although this app could stunt creativity, if it gets more children with their heads in books then surely that is highly important.
All in all another very interesting Augment Reality idea, one to keep an eye out for, especially if you have little ones.
Want to learn more? Sign up to the MagicBook website to try out their prototype.