Augmented reality is blurring the line between mobile gaming and reading

AR technology is transforming children’s books and video games at the same time.

With the start of the augmented reality games in traditional books trend by Sony, with its Wonderbook for PlayStation 3, both of those forms of entertainment have been redefined and many other products are now being released to enhance the reading experience – particularly for children.

Among the most widely publicized successes of AR books for kids was iDinosaur.

However, it was truly the Wonderbook that sent augmented reality books into the mainstream almost two years ago. The idea behind this technology is that a physical book contains a number of different components that are not detectable to the human eye. The only way to be able to access and view them is to use a smartphone or a tablet and the right apps to bring them to life.

For instance, a child’s book could be read on its own, or include augmented reality components to allow for interaction.

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When children’s books such as iDinosaur are viewed through the assistance of mobile devices and AR apps, the illustrations can appear to spring to the page and move about. Tyrannosaurus Rexes have since been leaping out of the pages to show their stuff – though in a much smaller and much more digital form, of course.

In 2014, the trend has continued through the French Connection. They have now released the first volume of a children’s story series, Jack Hunter, which will introduce their own interactive AR elements. This book will work as a standalone novel that can be enjoyed by itself, or it can be viewed with the assistance of mobile devices that help the reader to unlock a broader range of different interactive elements.

These include augmented reality images as well as additional interactive stories and games. Though this may seem quite complex to parents, the latest generation of youngsters is proving to be increasingly comfortable with touchscreens, apps, and the overall concept of smart devices. As many households now contain at least one of these mobile gadgets, it can make AR technology based books quite a comfortable fit into the overall reading experience.

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