Manolis Kelaidis just got a standing ovation for a TOC keynote after showing off a print book with connections to computer content. Combining old-fashioned print book creation with familiar Adobe InDesign layout with conductive inks and a huge amount of imagination, he managed to create a book that startled and amazed the audience.
Live hyperlinks from a book? Even getting past the mental leap needed, there’s a huge amount of technical implementation needed to create the connections for making this work. The result, though, looks like it may be a way for Luddites and technologists to get along. You can read it as a book, or supplement the material in the book with computer content, basically by touching the book where you want to know more. Kelaidis showed off video, audio, and web supplements.
I have two hard questions: can it be made at a price people will want to pay? (I’m guessing yes, for at least some kinds of books.) And how long do the circuits last, say, squashed in my backpack then stuffed under an airplane seat?
However it works out, I think this morning gave fans of print books a big emotional lift.