A digital pop-up book that can only be read with a webcam
February 4, 2013 | 10:00 am
By Dan Eldridge
Last week, we wrote about an interesting augmented reality app that was developed with the intention of making a Japanese newspaper, the Tokyo Shimbun, more appealing to children. With the app installed on a smartphone, a child can hold her phone above certain articles, and then watch the screen as kid-friendly content relating to the article is revealed.
Today we bring you an even more unusual augmented reality story, this one a poetry book that only be read with the use of a webcam. Between Page and Screen, appropriately enough, is the book’s title. And instead of text, each page displays a black and white shape that looks not unlike a very basic QR code. If you’d like to read the poetry, you’ll need to hold each page up to your computer’s webcam. Your computer screen will then display a snippet of animated text in such a way that it appears to be popping, hologram-style, right off the page. (For a demonstration, see both of the videos below.)
If you manage to “read” the entire book, you’ll discover something of a love story within; Between Page and Screen is essentially a series of letters written back and forth between two lovers carrying on an affair. (Which begs the question: When are we going to see an AR app for the Fifty Shades of Grey series? That’s a million-dollar idea, EL James. And it’s all yours. Run with it!)
Written and created by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse, the book is currently on sale at Amazon for $18.21. You can even give it a free test run on your own computer; head over to this page of the book’s website for instructions.