"The Future of the Book is a design exploration of digital reading that seeks to identify new opportunities for readers, publishers, and authors to discover, consume, and connect in different formats.
As more people consume pages in pixels, IDEO designers wondered why we continue to discover and consume the written word through the old analog, page-turning model. We asked: what happens when the reading experience catches up with new technologies?
The team looked at how digital and analog books currently are being read, shared and collected, as well as at trends, business models and consumer behavior within related fields. We identified three distinct opportunities - new narratives, social reading with richer context, and providing tools for critical thinking - and developed a design concept around each one.
The first concept, 'Alice,' turns storytelling on its head by making narratives non-linear and participatory. With Alice, the story world starts bleeding into the everyday life of the reader. Real-world challenges, like acting on a phone call from the lead character, or participating in photo based scavenger hunts, unlock new aspects of the story, and turn other readers into collaborators or competitors. Alice is a platform for authors to experiment with narratives, to allow their stories to transcend media, and to engage fans in the storytelling process.
The second concept, 'Coupland,' makes book discovery a social activity by allowing readers to build shared libraries and hear about additional texts through existing networks. Coupland makes it easy for busy professionals to stay on top of industry must-reads. Businesses can assign book budgets to their employees and build collective libraries through a group-licensing model. Personal recommendations, aggregation of reading patterns, and the ability to follow inspiring individuals and groups help ensure that Coupland users always are tapped into the latest essential content within and outside of the organization.
The third concept, 'Nelson,' connects books to commentary, critique, and contextual information, letting readers explore a topic from multiple perspectives. Nelson reinforces the role of books as carriers of knowledge and insight. Readers can explore polarizing material and see whose word currently has the greatest impact on popular opinion and debate. Layers of connected commentary, news, and fact-checking augment the core book content - providing greater context and encouraging debate and scrutiny.
Each concept features a simple, accessible storytelling format and a particular look and feel. We believe that digital technology creates possibilities, so our solutions truly adapt to the new environment, rather than emulate analog qualities onscreen. For example, we resisted any temptation to move books closer to the bite-sized character of other digital media, because longhand writing encourages immersion (deep reading) and reflection."
"In December of 1975, after a year of piecing together a bunch of new technology in a back lab at the Elmgrove Plant in Rochester, we were ready to try it. 'It' being a rather odd-looking collection of digital circuits that we desperately tried to convince ourselves was a portable camera. It had a lens that we took from a used parts bin from the Super 8 movie camera production line downstairs from our little lab on the second floor in Bldg 4. On the side of our portable contraption, we shoehorned in a portable digital cassette instrumentation recorder. Add to that 16 nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter application, several dozen digital and analog circuits all wired together on approximately half a dozen circuit boards, and you have our interpretation of what a portable all electronic still camera might look like.
It was a camera that didn't use any film to capture still images - a camera that would capture images using a CCD imager and digitize the captured scene and store the digital info on a standard cassette. It took 23 seconds to record the digitized image to the cassette. The image was viewed by removing the cassette from the camera and placing it in a custom playback device. This playback device incorporated a cassette reader and a specially built frame store. This custom frame store received the data from the tape, interpolated the 100 captured lines to 400 lines, and generated a standard NTSC video signal, which was then sent to a television set.
There you have it. No film required to capture and no printing required to view your snapshots. That's what we demonstrated to many internal Kodak audiences throughout 1976. In what has got to be one of the most insensitive choices of demonstration titles ever, we called it 'Film-less Photography'. Talk about warming up your audience!"
(Steve Sasson, 16 October 2007)
Fig.1 Vintage 1975 portable all electronic still camera
Fig.2 The playback device and TV
Fig.3 Side-by-side comparison – Hardcopy vs. Film-less Photography
"As you've most likely figured out, the WVIL camera is not a real product, but a Concept Camera envisioned by Artefact's award-winning design team. It answers the question: 'what's next for camera design?'
The patent-pending WVIL system takes the connectivity and application platform capabilities of today's smart phones and wirelessly connects them with interchangeable full SLR-quality optics. It is the inevitable solution for photographers who expect the power of modern mobile devices but who also demand uncompromised quality."
(Artefact Group, 2010)