Augmented reality could be the future of paper books, according to a new study


According to researchers from the University of Surrey, augmented reality could allow printed books to come back against the trend of e-books.

Surrey introduced the third generation (3G) version of its Next Generation Paper (NGP) project, allowing the reader to consume information on printed paper and screen side by side.

Dr. Radu Sporea, Senior Lecturer at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), comments:

“The way we consume literature has changed over time with so many more options than paper books. Several e-solutions currently exist, including e-readers and smart devices, but no commercial-scale sustainable hybrid solution .

“Augmented books, or a-books, may be the future of many book genres, from travel and tourism to education. This technology exists to help the reader better understand the subject being written and learn more through to digital means without ruining the experience of reading a paper book.”

Energy efficiency and pre-printed conductive paper are some of the new features that allow Surrey’s augmented books to now be manufactured on a semi-industrial scale. With no visible wiring to the reader, Surrey’s augmented reality books allow users to trigger digital content with a simple gesture (like swiping a finger or turning a page), which will then be displayed on a nearby device.

George Bairaktaris, postgraduate researcher at the University of Surrey and member of the Next Generation Paper project team, said:

“The original research was conducted to enrich travel experiences by creating augmented travel guides. This improved 3G model enables the possibility of using augmented books for different fields such as education. In addition, the new model disturbs minus the reader by automatically recognizing the open page and triggering the media content.”

“What started as an augmented book project evolved into scalable user interfaces. The techniques and insights from the project led us to explore organic materials and printing techniques to make scalable sensors for interfaces at the beyond the e-book.”

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Materials provided by University of Surrey. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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