iPhone Book Concept

November 18, 2009

Inspired by the Japanese iPhone/Book mashup that appeared in the Stop Press links recently, I made this rough concept of an in-book mobile app, riffing on ideas of the “enhanced edition“.

Imagine if when you got a book, you also got a mobile app that contained the footnotes and index, supporting material and the searchable text. The app sits inside the book itself. Search the app for “Leonardo da Vinci” and it points you to the relevant pages in the book. Supplementary material is accessed by typing in the page you’re on in the book. It includes biographical information, galleries of high-resolution, zoomable images. Take notes, save and email them. Find other readers nearby. Annotate the text, and keep those annotations in the right place – connected to the book itself, but accessible anywhere. For series books the possibilities are even bigger: linking a collection via a digital index and archive. And its updatable: the author can add in material to the book indefinitely after publication – and pitch their next one when it comes out.


  1. The app is inside the book? Surely all you need is a reference for the book to get all this info via a web service. Wouldn’t the app in a ‘platform’ like the book just:
    1. increase cost of book as it’s £ to put in
    2. stop working when you drop it in the bath
    3. require updating – but how?
    Sorry, don’t mean to piss on your chips. I’m probably missing something.

    Comment by jamesb — November 18, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

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