RECOMMENDED: The Cornwall a-book: An Augmented Travel Guide Using Next Generation Paper

David M. Frohlich, Emily Corrigan-Kavanagh (both University of Surrey), et al. have published “The Cornwall a-book: An Augmented Travel Guide Using Next Generation Paper” in the Journal of Electronic Publishing. Their article describes the creation of two editions of an augmented book, or “a-book,” that serves as a guide to Cornwall.

From the paper’s abstract:

Electronic publishing usually presents readers with book or e-book options for reading on paper or screen. In this paper, we introduce a third method of reading on paper-and-screen through the use of an augmented book (‘a-book’) with printed hotlinks than can be viewed on a nearby smartphone or other device. Two experimental versions of an augmented guide to Cornwall are shown using either optically recognised pages or embedded electronics making the book sensitive to light and touch. We refer to these as second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) paper respectively. A common architectural framework, authoring workflow and interaction model is used for both technologies, enabling the creation of two future generations of augmented books with interactive features and content. In the travel domain we use these features creatively to illustrate the printed book with local multimedia and updatable web media, to point to the printed pages from the digital content, and to record personal and web media into the book.

This article will have particular appeal to DH practitioners interested in new methods of publishing and how they intersect with the digital humanities, but the project’s exploration of new methods of reading and interacting with text should be of interest to anyone working more broadly in the realm of text-based DH.