Books are a man’s best friends
It is commonly believed that reading books is the best way in which one can invest their time in a productive manner. Right from childhood our teachers and families have put in considerable effort into inculcating the reading habit among people.
Reading has taken a new meaning and form in today’s world. From having their noses in thick books, people are now focusing on their screens as they read. People across the world, especially in urban areas are now using e-readers and electronic devices like laptops and tablets in lieu of conventional books. Providing video references and interactive reading options is a necessity today!
Extended Reality (XR), which encompasses Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming ubiquitous in the world. From teaching to surgeries, all activities are becoming more interactive and engaging through the use of XR. Reading books can be made significantly more engaging with the power of XR.
The Push for Immersive Reading
Every Person on an Average spends at least 15 minutes a day reading some form of serious content
Among Teenagers, this time is much higher and averages at 30 minutes a day.
Since reading is so crucial to our intellectual development and awareness, engaging users with an immersive experience enables enhanced knowledge transfer! This can make the prospect of reading more interesting and garners the attention of people by drawing them towards the immersive experience rather than the books.
Here are some ways in which reading is being made more engaging and interactive by using the power of Extended Reality.
A conventional book makes us read, but a tactile book equipped with Augmented Reality (AR) engages our audio-visual and sensory perceptions. Such AR based immersive book reading experiences are especially useful when it comes to keeping kids engaged.
The combination of text, colorful pictures, and interactive activities can keep children engaged for hours. It is also a great way to make children learn and inculcate the habit of reading in them. Imagine a book on farm animals, where the child can hear the sound made by the animal, watch the animal in its habitat and interact with the animal. Wouldn’t that be more memorable than just reading about the animal from a piece of paper?
When people read a book, they often need to visualize the characters in their imagination. However, with Extended Reality they can actually see the avatars of the characters on screen. The Digital Avatars of characters can be personalized based on the viewers requirements making the process more engaging and interesting for the reader.
Readers can view personalized pictures of the avatars as they go through the book, creating a tantalizing experience for the reader. Additionally, small personalization elements may be added to the story to allow the user to personalize or modify the story line.
Using AR to create interactive storytelling experiences is among the best ways to engage readers. Every chapter of the book can have an AR based activity to make the story appealing. With nothing but a mobile phone, any place can be transformed into a mystic palace or a futuristic space. The imagination is the limit when it comes to AR story telling.
The great feature that makes AR story telling more exciting is that it can be combined with conventional books. At the end of every chapter, a QR code may be provided, which when scanned can transport the user into a new space altogether.
Many AR based interactive books are now increasingly available in the market. Users can even customize the entire story line or only the end based on the requirements or wishes of the user. Similarly the skin color, accent and language spoken by the characters can be modified based on geography, enabling the reader to feel more connected with the book.
Extended Reality and Non-Fiction
Virtual and Augmented Reality need not be applied to fiction alone! They can be used to make non-fiction and even textbooks more interactive and appealing to readers and students!
Imagine a person reading book on World War II and the scenes of the war pop-up on his screen. Wouldn’t that be more exciting than reading hundreds or even thousands of pages! As for textbooks, while book may itself be in conventional form to enable better access to all students, it can be equipped with QR codes which show videos of concepts. AR based quizzes can also be administered through the textbooks!
Colleges and Higher Education Centers can use immersive reading to help students understand practical concepts and view videos. Similarly tests can be conducted using immersive techniques.
Immersive Reading for the Disabled
Extended Reality (Both AR and VR) can bring reading and the power of books to those who struggle to read. Gamification and AR based learning is especially suited for kinesthetic learners and people suffering from learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Extended Reality can also help in reading out the text aloud to people suffering from low vision problems.
Say Yes to Immersive Reading!
Immersive reading experiences offer the readers and the authors a plethora of benefits. It helps more people understand, engage and connect with books. It also makes books more accessible to everyone as all one needs is a simple mobile device to access the book.
As for authors and publishers, just like movies drive more people into reading books and thereby increase book sales, Extended Reality has the ability to do the same if more people are excited by it and board the Immersive Reading Bandwagon. This can help attract more customers.
In the education space, Immersive Reading ensures that more students are able to understand the concepts. While conventional books cater to the visual learners only, AR and VR experiences cater to auditory and kinesthetic learners as well.
Extended reality creates a great win-win experience for all, the readers, teachers and publishers. It is relatively inexpensive to implement, easy to access and offers an enthralling and engaging experience for everyone.