STARRYWORKS inc. in Osaka has developed PLAYFUL BOOKS, a combination of traditional picture books and modern technology. PLAYFUL BOOKS is a picture book in which you can insert a smartphone. The smartphone detects which page you are reading and incorporates various fun effects into the story.
As you turn the page, music plays to accompany the scene or the color of the lights changes, or for example when you knock on a door in the story, there is a sound response.
Today most parents would probably agree that children spend too much time on digital devices. This may cause bad eyesight, lack of sleep and excessive reliance on games and the internet, according to Digital Arts Inc., over 70% of parents in Japan feel apprehensive about their children using digital devices. This product helps put their mind at ease.
PLAYFUL BOOKS combines the traditional reading experience with modern technology. Instead of looking at a screen, children read actual pages while still enjoying digital interaction.
Starryworks has developed an innovative page detection system which reads the number of punched holes on a page and is then able to identify which page is currently being read. The below video illustrates this a little better.
The page detection system is a is a novelty on the market and Starryworks has applied for a patent to this techonlogy. The huge upside is that they can cheaply produce the physical books for this interactive experience. The expensive sensor is already owned by most user (or their parents!): the smartphone.
As of now Starryworks offers two picture books for purchase since October 2014 in Japan: “Have You Seen My Crayons?” and “Knock Knock Knock”. Since February 2015, they have also sold them on Amazon for customers in the United States. The smartphone app is free of charge.
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