We are officially living in the future. Our marker for this is the fact that George Jetson was apparently born in July of 2022, so I’d just like to know: where is my robot maid? I thought that by now, we’d all be riding hoverboards. What are our innovators hard at work on instead?
Introducing: the a-book! The “a,” of course, stands for augmented reality. The big idea behind it is that, much like when you’re using an e-reader, you might now be able to swipe your finger across a line in a real book and have explainers/background information pop up on your phone. If you’re reading a series, and you’ve completely forgotten what’s just happened, the backstory of a character is quite literally now at your fingertips. You know, in case you’re too lazy to Google it or simply use context clues.
The hope behind this £900,000 government-funded project is that they are able to preserve what they’re calling “bookness,” by which I suppose they mean the feel of holding paper in your hands and turning a page. So, how does the augmented reality book work? The researchers at the University of Surrey are creating super-thin solar panels (?) to fit in between a single sheet of paper (??). The solar panels will be activated when a “magic bookmark”(???) is laid across the page.
Thanks, science, for solving a problem we didn’t really have! In case the makers of the a-book haven’t heard, books are magic all on their own.
[h/t The Guardian]