Researchers at the University of Surrey in England have developed a new augmented reality (AR) system that can be integrated into paper books, enhancing the user experience as they consume printed content in real time.
According to the scientists, the project called Next Generation Paper (next generation paper, in free translation) allows the reader to have extra information about what is written on the sheets of truth through a mobile device, such as tablets or cell phones.
“The way we consume literature has changed over time with many more options than just paper books. There are currently several electronic solutions, including e-readers and smart devices, but no hybrid solution that is sustainable on a commercial scale”, explains Professor Radu Sporea, lead author of the project.
With no wiring visible to the reader’s eyes, augmented reality books allow users to access digital content while flipping through the physical book. When you swipe or turn a page, new information is automatically displayed on the screen of the device next to you.
Sensors installed in the book are responsible for identifying the action of the reader and transmitting the data to the cell phone or tablet. As the reading progresses, the user can consult graphics, images and videos related to the content being read in a natural way.
“This updated model makes it possible to use augmented reality books for different areas, such as education. In addition, this new version bothers the reader less by automatically recognizing the open page, triggering the multimedia content in real time”, adds Professor George Bairaktaris, co-author of the study.
books of the future
Thanks to an energy-efficient system and a pre-printed conductive paper, the augmented reality book can now be produced on a semi-industrial scale. With this configuration, it could be used to broadcast content that requires the addition of complementary information, such as tourism, travel and education.
In the future, the researchers hope that the augmented reality hybrid book can be printed at larger scales, allowing the user not to have to turn to the internet or other online sources for extra data on the subject being read.
“More than ever, this technology exists to help the reader to have a deeper understanding of the written subject and obtain more information through digital means without, however, ruining the experience of handling and reading a paper book”, concludes Professor George Bairaktaris.