From designers In-oh Yoo and Tae-soon Nam for the Metatrend Institute comes the Smart Bookrest Docking system - a way to combine the best of both the digital and analog worlds of reading.
We'll be honest - it took us a long time to come around to the idea of an e-reader. While we now could not live without our Kindle, there is still something to be said for the tactile nature of the paperback and the heavy weight of the hardcover in our hands, something that we are ill-equipped to define or understand. They just feel better.
With that in mind, two bookish designers working for Metatrend set out to create a confluence of the physical and the digital - a reading system that not only allows for the pleasant flipping of pages but also the ability to include digital media and increase the entire appeal of the experience.
Here's how it works: The Smart Bookrest Docking System has a wing structure that provides an obvious place to set an open book as well as an easy dock for a tablet. In addition, it has a small hidden pop-up camera and reading light on its right-hand side. A user looking for a comprehensive reading experience comes along, places their book on wing structure and then locks their tablet into place. Once the book is opened the camera can be popped up and will read a QR code on the top right of each page, which will in turn cause appropriate media to be displayed on the tabet's screen. If it gets dark, the light attached to the camera can let the hybrid reading enjoyment continue.
Smart Bookrest: ever so clever.
When a page is turned it will brush against the camera sensor, letting it know to look for a new QR code after a few seconds and display it once the reader has started in on the next wall of text. All told, the Smart Bookrest Docking System is meant to be part desk, part reading lamp, part e-reader and part tablet charging station.
Could this work? Sure. The technology exists to make it possible. Would it be profitable? Good question.
First off, using this would mean having books that featured a QR code in the right place. Some magazines already do, but in order to take advantage of the functionality of this device, every book read would need to have a code. Second, we're not really sure people want extra media when they're reading, and its form isn't exactly described in the product brief. Presumably it would be video and/or audio and pictures, but for many that could potentially take away from the imaginative nature of the book itself.
There's also the whole "page brushing against camera" bit of the system that we find a bit concerning. Any time something has to physically contact a piece of technology to make it work, that technology is bound to suffer from early failures or inabilities to recognize just what page has turned and when.
We applaud the efforts of the Smart Bookrest Docking System, but wonder if perhaps we're just not smart enough yet to use it.
Source: Yanko Design