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Camille Scherrer implements Augmented Reality for books

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8 February 2010

Is it just me? Or is the world of book publishing, from all the creative industries, slow to innovate and adapt to the changing media?

I know of Scott Sigler, who got a book deal after he created a community around his sci-fi books by releasing them as podcasts, read by himself (he did different voices for his characters).

I know of people publishing books in progress and I know of Dutch Social Media dude Erwin Blom, who convinced the publishers of his book about Communities to also set up a website. That was used to crowdsource information on online tools and case studies that put his community theories into practice.

And sure, there’s the Kindle, soon the iPad and other e-readers. But so far they mainly focus on changing the distribution and hasn’t had a big impact on the promotion of books, let alone the way stories are being told. Yet.

But then I found this particularly interesting use of augmented reality. It augments exactly what books are all about, telling stories.
Camille Scherrer, a media and interaction design student, created a book that seamlessly integrates Augmented Reality. It’s called ‘Le Monde des Montagnes’ and, well, it’s a book. But the difference is that, once you activate the AR layer (through a lamp!), it superimposes a layer of animation on top of the book that re-interprets and adds to the narrative.

As Camille writes on her website:

“Le Monde des Montagnes” makes the real book – this century-old knowledge transfer medium – cross the path of the “power book”, leading to interaction in a natural, albeit unprecedented language, as an extension of our reality.”

Small note: while Augmented Reality was one of the buzzwords of 2009, she already made this installation in 2008.

The technology behind it seems very powerful, but it’s mainly the way she applies it to enhance the traditional medium and the execution of the animations that got my attention.

Sure, it’s not thé future of book publishing, but it’s definitely a glimpse of how storytelling can and will change.

And there’s more about innovative story-telling on the rather splendid Jawbone website.

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