Next generation e-book

I’ve just watched Mike Matas introduce the first full-length interactive book for the iPad on TedTalks. The “book” has clever, swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with.I’m fascinated to see the developments that are occurring so rapidly in this area, and as competition hots up in the development of the new generation tablets and touch surface computing becomes more common, this will only increase – confirming that 2011 may indeed be the year of the e-book!

The book is called Our Choice and is written (and in parts narrated) by Al Gore, who surveys the causes of global warming and presents groundbreaking insights and solutions already under study and underway that can help stop the unfolding disaster of global warming. It’s available for both iPad and iPod on iTunes.

It’s interesting to read the comments that have been posted on the TED site for this video, with some questioning whether this can actually be called an ‘e-book’ given the extent of the multimedia use and interactivity – I guess this is a part of the journey we’ll see towards re-defining what a book is and will become in the future. Another comment I like is from Taya Levine who sums up some of how I feel…

Whether it’s called a book or something else, what’s exciting to me is the potential for this to be a new learning medium for kids in schools. I fantasize that kids will be re-energized about learning (maybe even subjects they aren’t terribly interested in) if they can relate to content in a more dynamic way. I wonder if anyone is looking into the possible use of this tool for learning.

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