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Multi-Touch Page Flipping eBook Concept Shown on an iPad

The KAIST Institute of Information Technology Convergence has posted this video demonstrating their patented eBook interface prototype.

The prototype is implemented on an Apple iPad but reportedly uses private Apple APIs, according to the video description. The use of private APIs would prevent the app from being approved for the App Store, but the video shows a number of novel ways to navigate eBooks besides the simple "page flip" motion found on Apple's iBooks app.


The new gestures shown include:

- Page Flipping, by spreading pages and then flipping through
- Page Flipping with finger bookmarking
- Multiple page turning using multiple fingers
- Faster swipes turning multiple page
- Longer presses, then swiping can turn multiple pages
- Writing the page number

Interactive eBooks have been a big topic of discussion over this past week, since Apple's launch of iBooks 2 with their new electronic textbooks. (via Reddit)

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
There are some good ideas here and there and I too want Apple to incorporate some of these features on iBooks.

The one problem I see is that the gestures are too complicated and confusing. The one thing people like about ebook reading on the iPad is the simplicity of it. People could easy get confused if you add that much functionality.

But I'm sure Apple will find a way to make them less complicated. :)
Rating: 12 Votes
37 months ago
Wow, now that IS a nice touch to conventional eBook reading!
Rating: 11 Votes
37 months ago
I particularly like the page number writing part. Hopefully iBooks will evolve into this, or at least some variation of it.
Rating: 8 Votes
37 months ago

There are some good ideas here and there and I too want Apple to incorporate some of these features on iBooks.

The one problem I see is that the gestures are too complicated and confusing. The one thing people like about ebook reading on the iPad is the simplicity of it. People could easy get confused if you add that much functionality.

But I'm sure Apple will find a way to make them less complicated. :)


Agreed.

A bit too much
Rating: 7 Votes
37 months ago
PROTIP: Average people don't bother learning gestures.
Rating: 7 Votes
37 months ago
That's pretty slick.
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
Certainly cool concepts; Apple should get on buying this company (or hiring the guys in it) immediately--even if they don't use the specific technologies, they seem to have the right idea about how touch interface should work and some good ideas.

The pause-to-turn-more-pages gesture I don't think would work with a broad user base--from what I've seen, a LOT of nontechnical users, particularly older ones, have a tendency to move very slowly, which could confuse a gesture like that when they start getting multiple page flips for no apparent reason. I'm also not convinced that the multi-finger gestures would work without confusing people unaware of them, but not positive about that one.

The edge-of-screen gesture, however, is genius, because it's not going to interfere with inexperienced/slow-fingered users, has an obvious visual cue about what it's doing, and a huge amount of utility (particularly the flipping-for-rapid-advance part).
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
This is proof that with 1000+ years of publishing technology, the humble book is still the preferred physical medium.
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
These gestures look great for fixed-layout ePubs. But for ePubs with resizable, flowing text, many of the gestures would be cumbersome or simply pointless.

It's nice to see developers experiment with the iBooks infrastructure, though. Kudos to this company!
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago
While I think it's interesting to adopt a real-world approach to finding a page that you're probably within 10-12 pages from, I don't think the real-world way has every been the best way. Why, because you're guessing and hoping to see, in a fraction of a second, something on a page that you're familiar with. Very hit and miss. It's engrossing to see this company has replicated the look, but in practical application it will be even less effective than in real life, in my opinion...

HOWEVER... (please read on before hitting the MINUS button, as I have a point I'm making)...

What I think Apple needs to adopt for iBooks so benefit the students is the iBOOKS "TABLE OF CONTENTS" feature for PDFs (or "the PDF Way")...

... the difference is when you push that Table of Contents button in the PDF viewer for iBooks, instead of bringing you to the front of the book or a linked list of pages like a typical eBook, the PDF feature zooms out to show you the page you're on in a thumbnail view along with about 11 other pages in onscreen. With a flick of a finger up or down, you see dozens more in a second. Spot the one you need and tap to bring it into place.

This easily would be the best way to go in order to hop to a page you know you're fairly close to but just not sure exactly where because you can see the whole page. This works better than even this multi-flip concept, in my opinion, because while the multi-flip is showing you more pages at a time to hopefully scrub past the one you're looking for, it's (1) doing it too quickly and (2) you only see part of the page. The PDF Way shows 12 pages at a time and shows you the whole page for as long as you need to study which one you're looking for. Again scrolling with a finger-flip, you can navigate dozens of pages in no time.

Now -- because you always need a real Table of Contents, this need to show both would force Apple to add a button at the top and something like the Safari TOP SITES Grid button would be perfect because it shows the representation of multiple pages. This approach would work terrible with a regular book that has 99.99% text and no graphics but for the text books that are presented visually with lots of charts, photos and illustrations... this would be the best possible solution.

Side note: My only criticism of the way Apple does this now is way to much grey. I would add a way to adjust how many pages you see (like an iPhoto slider) and how dense the pages are to one another.

(See attached iPad screenshot of my portfolio in this view)
Rating: 3 Votes

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