Saturday, October 03, 2009

Vook Off!

Over on Gizmodo, there's talk of Apple's ideas regarding new hybridized media needing to be better than the Vook {above}, a combination of book & video, with media staring at $7.  Apple is allegedly in talks with old media to put old wine in new bottles.  Sexy bottles that use mythical tablet Mac {my dream tablet} technology, given that people don't "read" anymore, so says Jobs.  His take on Amazon's Kindle::
"It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore... The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."
Well, the Vook is a poor execution.  The ideas for thinking about multimedia should look towards video games, in terms of navigation and user experience.  I agree with the characterization that the look of the Vook is straight out of the mid-1990s.

Apple R&D apparently has been working on technology with two-handed navigation on touch screens {left}.  I think in terms of usability, new hybrid media needs to put prototypes in the hands of users, who, in my opinion, want the search, categorization, and multimedia features of digitized content along with the browsability of print and the tactile, real-life experience.

Last week, I was getting gifts for a friend's 40th. birthday.  I got him some books for reading.  The idea was to get him some stuff he'd be interested in, but didn't have, with a mix of visual picture books, quick reads, and longer works.  While I could have gotten stuff on Amazon, I must admit there was great satisfaction and efficiency in perusing the shelves at a local bookstore, Pendragon Books in Rockridge, where I got most of my assortment of bookly delights.

Similarly, there is something to the experience of thumbing through a magazine or the Sunday New York Times, as much as it drives me crazy.  If the technology can capture these experiences with 3D visualizations and intuitive navigation that gives us the best of the digital and real worlds.  While some may laugh at this dated bit of sci-fi fluff, Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic {1995}, to this day, I think there's something to this way of thinking about interfaces::

I still think the keyboard is something many people gain utility from.  Until voice recognition steps up to the plate.

Twitterversion::  The Vook is marginal tech. ostensibly merging book&video, but where should new hybridized media go? Video game like?  3D? @Prof_K

Song::  Imagine - Bell, Book & Candle

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