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Mobile Art Lab combines iPhone and a book into PhoneBook

By Damir Beciri
17 November 2009

mobile-art-lab-iphone-phonebook0Japan-based Mobile Art Lab has been developing many features for smartphones. Their work is to plan and create visual methods of producing content that is “more valuable and interesting to watch on mobile phones”. In their previous development, they managed to pair phones in order to make them show media whilst using both displays, and in their new project named PhoneBook (page in Japanese language) they managed to make a hybrid book which combined iPhone and an ordinary book.

Although iPhone has increasing number of users in the world, it’s generally used by adults. The Phone Book project was started by a challenge to make it into the communication tool between parent and child. All you have to do is to set your iPhone in the child’s book to enjoy it together. As you turn the page, the content shown on the iPhone touchscreen changes and child can interact with the scene directly or tilt the book for different interactions.

The software and book-like construct combination offers a child and parent the opportunity to read interactive stories or learn simple math lessons. It could also teach the children how to read and interact with technology at very young ages. That is one of the reasons why both technology developers and content creators should focus on child health and education, thus ensuring the child’s proper development.

There are increasing numbers of displays that are able to be embedded into magazines or books in the world, however, the displays using rare metals (as LC or organic EL) are not compatible with magazines which are basically disposable. That’s why the PhoneBook concept is much more practical, since the analogue media (printed books or magazines) could remain disposable and recyclable, while the digital information could be loaded from smart phones or similar devices.

The makers worked on the project under the slogan “Analog on the Digital Technology” since it combines digital value of iPhone and analogue advantage of books. This new approach will be able to be applied to brochures or catalogues for business usage, art books, picture books or as educational tools. The PhoneBook is not available yet and the company didn’t announce the release date of the PhoneBook. The concept shows a great potential and, unless better technologies emerge, it will most likely be in your homes soon.

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