The Future of the Book

On a lot of blogs and in popular culture lately people are looking to the past for their inspiration. We have Mad Men on TV or blogs dedicated to Penguin covers, hell, I’m just as guilty of doing this. So it’s really refreshing to see the folks at IDEO taking a look at the future of books, coming up with some exciting, though possibly confusing ideas. They’ve created three different book interfaces that would work with a tablet computer, Nelson, Coupland and Alice, each having their own strengths and unique primary task.

I think my favorite of the bunch is Alice, which takes reading books to the next level but allowing you to interact with the story, taking photos, visiting areas in your town to unlock special chapters and communicating with your mobile phone. My only real beef with these is that there doesn’t seem to be any sort of thought around navigation, which is essential to making a users experience a good one. I don’t want to poo poo this project in any way, I think it’s a great idea and I’d love to see more forward thinking like this.


September 23, 2010