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Reading

The Smart E-book System incorporates features that are intended to make the reading of dig...

There may indeed come a day when printed books and magazines have been gone for so long, that nobody cares how little reading a digital document resembles reading one printed on paper. That day is not yet here, however – most of us still like our e-reading experience to be as close as possible to that of reading a book. To that end, this week a team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced the development of new e-reading system, that brings several book-like capabilities to tablets and smartphones.  Read More

Booktrack adds ambient noise, sound effects and music to eBooks

There’s no doubt that a soundtrack can significantly enhance the immersiveness and emotional impact of films and TV programs. But can some audio accompaniment do the same thing for books? New York City-based startup Booktrack thinks so and has released an iOS app – with an Android app also on the way - that adds soundtracks to eBooks. As the user reads they can listen to ambient background noise relevant to the book’s current setting, specific sound effects synchronized to the text as it is read, and music. But does a soundtrack “boost the reader’s imagination and engagement” as the company states, or does it just create another distraction to be overcome when delving into a book on the bus on the way home? I decided to download the app and find out.  Read More

Craig Tashman (left) and Keith Edwards, creators of the LiquidText active reading software...

The more ways in which you can engage yourself with what you're reading, the more likely you are to understand and remember it. It's a practice known as active reading, and it can involve taking notes, highlighting passages, setting aside snippets of important information, or even reading text aloud. While some programs already exist that facilitate the active reading of digital documents, a team from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed what they believe is a better approach. It's called LiquidText, and it was developed around touchscreen technology.  Read More

The Copia platform allows readers to share content, opinions and knowledge with friends, f...

If we need evidence of the central role the digital world is taking in our modern lives, we need look no further than social networking. In a very short time, updating Facebook profiles and Tweet streams have become a pivotal part of everyday life for many millions of people. Even our literary preferences are beginning to lean more towards the digital, with Amazon recently announcing that the sale of digitized books had overtaken the sale of printed versions. The Copia platform brings both of these activities together in one place, offering members a new way discover, share and purchase books, newspapers and magazines.  Read More

Researchers have analyzed the text from four percent of all books ever published, to learn...

You may have Facebook friends who have done the “Here are the top words from my Facebook status messages!” thing, where it lists the words they’ve most commonly used in telling the world about their lives. Interesting as that may or may not be, imagine something similar being done with four percent of all books ever published. That’s what a team of researchers from Harvard University, Google, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the American Heritage Dictionary have done. The resulting dataset is made up of the full text of about 5.2 million books, 72 percent of that text being in English, with French, German, Chinese, Russian, and Hebrew making up the rest. Analyzing that dataset, a practice that the researchers call “culturomics” (a play on genomics), has revealed some fascinating things about the history of our species.  Read More

In Your Own Voice Storyteller

The In Your Own Voice Storyteller lets children enjoy a bedtime story with a familiar family voice – even if there's no familiar family member around. A parent, older sibling or grandparent records passages of a book onto a child friendly pen programmed with specifically coded stickers that can be attached to the relevant pages of a story book. All a child needs to do is place the pen over the sticker on the book’s page and the recording will play.  Read More

Kogan 6-inch e-book reader

Kogan Technologies has launched a 6-inch eBook reader into the Australian market at a price of just AUD$189 (less than US$170). Around one third of an inch thick and weighing 228.8 g, the eBook Reader boasts good readability in bright sunlight via an 800 x 600 E Ink screen along with simple navigation system and long battery life.  Read More

Aiptek's Story Book inColor is the first color ebook designed for children

With the flood of ebook readers hitting the market over the past year, not to mention the success of Apple’s iPad, any new offering needs to differentiate itself if it is going to survive. That’s exactly what Aiptek’s Story Book inColor has done because, instead of aiming at the overcrowded adult market, it has focused on the children’s book market and in doing so, has the entire market to itself.  Read More

Can Botox stunt your emotional expression?

A new study from the University of Wisconsin may have profound implications for the cosmetic-surgery industry. We all intuitively know there is an interaction between facial expression, thoughts and emotions and scientists have previously found that blocking the ability to move the body causes changes in cognition and emotion. In the latest UW tests, which involved the pinpoint administration of Botox to temporarily prevent frowning, it was found that facial expression also affects the ability to understand written language related to emotions. So using Botox …  Read More

Parent and child enjoying the Storybook experience

Nokia has teamed up with Sesame Street to create an interactive reading experience that can involve grandparents and grandchildren no matter how far apart they may find themselves. The Storybook research project melds the tactile and visual pleasures of reading a real book with video conferencing technology which allows distant relatives to take an active part in a child's literacy development.  Read More

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