For a while, everything seemed to be transforming into digital creations so they could be seen in different screens of various sizes rather than physical objects that you could touch and interact with using your own hands. While there are clearly many benefits on the digitalization of objects, there are some people who like how things used to be and would like this transition to slow down a little. There was a time where digital designs resembled real-life objects and they were meant to work in the same way, but people already know how to interact with these digital objects, so they could evolve into something more by integrating some of the newer technologies available everywhere.
Take books for example, when they were digitalized, they became pretty much the same object that you could see on your laptop, tablet or even smartphone. They included the front and back covers and the content could be browsed just in a regular book. Sure, they offered some new benefits like the ability to search for terms and some of them included more interactive objects, but in the majority of cases, users just focused on the content just like in any regular book. Now, Google has launched Editions at Play, a small library of experimental books that take advantage of the internet connectivity in current mobile devices.
The tagline of the digital library reads, “We sell books that cannot be printed”. There are only a couple of books available and a few others will launch in a near future. One of the books is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs” by Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne. It features animations and even instructions to walk you through reading the content, you can switch between Riviere’s and Dunthorne’s poems and stories at any time, so every read will be different. The other book is “Entrances & Exits” by Reif Larsen, this story is told through Google’s Street View and the narrative combines real and fictional locations. The books are optimized to be read in smartphones and they are compatible with those running a more recent version of Android 4.4 or iOS 8. Still, not every device will support these books, so you can try them before you make the purchase. This seems like a nice way of how digital books could evolve, and even if it might take a while before the library grows significantly, Google is willing to take any suggestions about digital book creation.