The future of books may be here. Augmented reality book Between Page and Screen is an innovative art project that seeks to renew the reading experience by combining the physicality of a printed book with the technology of Adobe Flash to create a virtual love story.

To see the technology in action, you simply lay the 44-page hardcover across a laptop with a webcam and words will suddenly appear, spin and rattle. Turn the page to experience the wordless book of poems and see the future of interactive reading.

Poet Amaranth Borsuk and developer Brad Bouse, creators of Between Page and Screen, started exploring augmented reality after seeing a business card developed with similar technology. A simple geometric pattern on the card once held up to a camera would turn up the card owner’s face.

SEE ALSO: Augmented Reality Business Card Comes to Life [VIDEO]

Borsuk, whose background is in book art and writing, and Bouse, developing his own startup, were mesmerized by the technology. The married duo combined their separate love of writing and technology to create this augmented reality art project that would explore the relationship between handmade books and digital spaces.

The book is full of wordplay between the characters P and S. Expect a lot of movement and the fun of a pop-up book designed for adults.

“It is actually pretty fun,” said Bouse, who described seeing people experiencing augmented reality with a book for the first time. “Amaranth has been invited to do presentations. When she opens the book and people see the letters pop up [on screen] for the first time there’s always a initial gasp.”

People shake the book, turn the page and appear to really enjoy the experience, said the authors.

The book’s animation, which helps propel the written love story along, was written in Flash. Between Page and Screen uses FLARToolKit to project images from book, using Robot Legs framework, 3D-effects of Papervision, BetweenAS3 animation and JibLib Flash.

Any computer with a webcam can play the book, which will be published in April. However, the augmented reality book is ready for pre-order at

The authors created this book as an art project, but we’re wondering if you’d be interested in a broader augmented reality book selection. Let us know in the comments.

More About: Augmented Reality, books, innovation, Tech, webcam

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The latest scuttlebutt on Apple’s big education announcement next week: the company is venturing into textbooks.

An industry insider confirmed to the New York Times that Apple will, in fact, be partnering with textbook publishers. No new devices will be shown, the source says, but Apple will discuss their new digital textbook business next week.

“Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple,” is all the invitation from Apple says. Mashable will be reporting from the event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on Jan. 19.

The location makes sense for a textbook announcement; New York City is a hot spot for textbook publishers. But will cash-strapped college students pay for digital books when studies show that renting paper books is cheaper? The same report did show, however, that digital books are typically cheaper than new paperback books.

In addition to the price, the majority of students prefer printed books, according to another study. So Apple has its work cut out for it. The company will need to partner with enough publishers, and make its digital books cheap and good looking enough to trump even used and rental print editions.

Textbook giants McGraw-Hill and Pearson already have a stake in the digital book realm. Still, aligning their companies with a brand such as Apple and the massive market presence that goes with it — particularly in some Newsstand-like venture — could make digital textbooks soar.

Newsstand increased revenues by more than 200% for at least one magazine publisher (Conde Nast). Other New York publishers will have taken note. History has shown that when Apple jumps into an industry — music, movies, phone apps, books and magazines — the prices drop, and Apple dominates the market.

Could affordable digital textbooks be the preferred choice of college students in the near future? What do you think about Apple getting into the textbook game? Let us know in the comments.

More About: apple, books, college, iOS

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Roger Hargreaves — of the Mr. Men children’s book fame — would have turned 76 Monday, and to celebrate, Google has released tons of Doodles featuring the author’s characters.

From Little Miss Chatterbox to Little Miss Bossy (who I always felt a particular kinship with), Hargreaves’s simple, colorful figures were a presence in many a childhood.

The first book, Mr. Tickle, was published in 1971 — it was inspired by the author’s son, who asked what a tickle looked like, according to Time. Hargreaves died at age 53 in 1988, but his son kept the books going.

And soon, the series will even manifest itself as an animated feature, thanks to 20th Century Fox.

Head to Google today and click around — each page will bring up a new character. Which was your favorite as a kid?

More About: books, google doodle, Little Miss Chatterbox, little-miss-bossy, Roger Hargreaves

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