Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Google Submits New Patent for Triggered Sounds in eBooks

Father and son read an ebook

Google has just filed for a new patent that would make eBooks come alive with sounds. The sounds would be triggered by events within the book, lapping waves, an ominous crescendo or maybe an outdoor market. The new application would have the sounds stored on a server and would be pushed out to the eBook you are reading at the time.

Here is a bit from the patent application that outlines the main abstract. “Trigger point information is generated for an eBook to play sounds in an eBook. A request for trigger point information is received from a client. The eBook is analyzed to determine trigger point information for the eBook. The trigger point information includes location information identifying a location of a trigger point in the eBook. The trigger information also includes sound information indicating a sound to play at the trigger point. The determined trigger point information is transmitted to the client in response to the request for trigger point information. The client is configured to track a user’s reading location in the eBook and play the sound indicated by the sound information responsive to the user reading the eBook at the location of the trigger point.

I could really see Text to Speech benefiting from this new patent. Many e-Reading apps from Kobo, Amazon and Barnes and Noble don’t support it and if you have vision problems, you may want the book to be read aloud. Instead of purchasing an audiobook at 3 to 6 times the cost of a normal eBook, you might see new functionality added to apps that will allow people to take advantage of TTS.

The one sector this new technology may excel at is kids books. Most enhanced books right now have all sorts of interactive elements and a narrated reading experience. The Guardian ran a focus group recently that found out “Children reading enhanced ebooks also “recalled significantly fewer narrative details than children who read the print version of the same story”, said the researchers, speculating that the extra features may be distracting. interaction”. The fact that you can extenuate very specific narratives or sound effects, without using “interactivity” as a crutch and core selling point, is very compelling.

Google Submits New Patent for Triggered Sounds in eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple Launches iPhone 5c


Apple, as was speculated for months now, has lined up a twin treat today. Not only did its Cupertino event yield the new iPhone 5s, but there is the iPhone 5c as well. The iPhone 5c is basically a stripped down version of the flagship iPhone, and lacks the premium build and feel but makes up for both with a low initial cost of just $99. Apple has also resorted a generous use of plastic to keep costs low, though the same has also allowed them to introduce several color options easily.

As things stand right now, the iPhone 5C will be available in bright shades of yellow, red, white, green, pink, and blue. The iPhone 5c is powered by an A6 chip and includes an 8 megapixel camera. There is also a steel frame that is plastic coated but serves as the radio antenna. To be available in memory size options of 16 and 32 GB, the iPhone 5c has been priced $99 and $199, which involves agreeing to a two year contract. If that is not cheap enough, the iPhone 4 is now available for free.

Increasing competition from Android and other smartphone makers such as Samsung has forced Apple to shed its single flagship iPhone strategy. Apple, with its budget-oriented iPhone 5c, aims to cater to a bigger user base that otherwise would have remained loyal to Android. Samsung currently has a smartphone offering in almost every price range. However, with the 5c now in place, users will get to experience iOS 7 at an even lower price bracket. What remains to be seen now is how big an impact the iPhone 5C makes on the entire budget smartphone segment.

Apple Launches iPhone 5c is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple iPhone 5s Launched

iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is finally out, and like all 's' suffixed devices we have had from Apple so far, it is almost identical to its predecessor. Apple chose to add some freshness to the new iPhone 5s range by introducing some new color options, space grey, gold and white. However, that's just a part of the iPhone 5s story, as the new Apple flagship smartphone also comes with some cool innovative features.

Topping the list is an integrated fingerprint sensor which is a first on any iPhone variant so far, though not the first for the entire smartphone genre. (Motorola Atrix was the first to include a fingerprint sensor). This no doubt will make for one of the most secure iPhones we have ever had. The system is designed to scan the “sub-epidermal layers” at 500 points per inch. The image gathered is checked for a match with the stored images and will unlock the device only if the match is a success. That's not all, for the fingerprint scanner can also be used to make secure payments, which means purchasing apps, ebooks, and other content is now simpler and more secured.

Further, the fingerprint samples will be stored on the device itself and will be off limits to any apps and won't be stored in the cloud either, which means chances of those being manipulated or misused are almost impossible.

The iPhone 5s also comes with new enhanced photographic abilities, equipped as it is with a new lens having an f/2.2 aperture and a new sensor that is one percent larger. This results in bigger pixels with each capable of letting in more light. The same eight megapixel camera is now promising better quality images even in low light conditions. Among its other qualities, users will now be able to capture images in 10fps burst mode as long as the shutter is pressed. Users will also be able to record 720p slow-motion video in 120fps or a 28 megapixel panorama.

As part of its new internal make-up, the iPhone 5s now features an A7 64 bit chip, which Apple claims to be a first for a smartphone. Put another way, Apple is claiming a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56x increase in graphics performance. Running the entire show will, of course, be the new iOS 7 operating system.

Apple has also endowed the new iPhone 5s with what it claims to be the M7 “motion co-processor.” This is designed to analyze data that the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass have to offer and is aimed at creating a new crop of health oriented apps.

As for its price, the iPhone 5s will cost $199, $299 and $399 for the 16, 32 and 64 GB variants. (No 128 GB model as was rumored). Pre-orders start September 13th.

Apple iPhone 5s Launched is a post from: E-Reader News

iOS 7 Set For September 18 Debut


Apple today made an announcement that many have been waiting for: the all new iOS 7 will be ready on September 18 for deployment on iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices. The new software platform can be had via a free update that will be compatible on iPad Mini and iPad 2 and above models, though not all features are expected to arrive on all models. As for its iPhone and iPod range, iOS 7 will be compatible with iPhone 4 and above, as well as the fifth gen iPod Touch.

“iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it’s like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Next month we’ll be shipping our 700 millionth iOS device, and we’re excited about what our hundreds of thousands of iOS developers are doing to bring great new features to their apps.”

The iOS 7 marks the first major overhaul of the operating system since its inception over half a decade ago. Apart from a refreshingly new user interface, the new platform introduces several innovative features and enhancements that should bring the OS back in the reckoning after a spate of Android releases that has pushed the competing platform a few notches higher in user acceptance levels.

What is even more exciting is that Apple has a slate of new devices coming out. These include the new iPhone 5S, as well as the iPad 5 and the second gen iPad Mini. It will be really interesting to see how the new iOS 7 fares in these devices.

iOS 7 Set For September 18 Debut is a post from: E-Reader News

Miss Vogue Australia iOS App Launched

kendall jenner-miss vogue

Vogue Australia announced the launch of their iOS app, Miss Vogue Australia which the iconic fashion brand claims will be much more than just a PDF of their magazine. Created with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Miss Vogue Australia offers videos of behind the scene activities along with audio files and plenty more of multimedia experience to make for a truly immersive experience.

As for reasons for choosing the Adobe Digital Platform Suite for developing the app, Shane Mitchell, CEO Reddo Media explained:

“We wanted to create an app that encompasses the full breadth of features possible with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. With custom HTML content, embedded audio and video, a state-of-the-art custom HTML storefront and functionality in ten languages, we did exactly that,” said Shane Mitchell. Reddo Media who were entrusted with developing the app by NewsLifeMedia, the Vogue Australia publisher.

“We utilised Adobe's tried and trusted technology to create an immersive experience for Miss Vogue Australia's readers. Features including exclusive video content and shop-able pages will inspire users without overloading them with interactive elements. A restrained design approach was adopted to suit the beauty and elegance of the Vogue brand,” said Mitchell.

Earlier, Vogue Australia had defied the global digital trend by launching the print publication that served to further augment their online presence in the real world. This they claimed will let their targeted client, the twenty something girls to have something to drool over in their hands, something that is real and can even be torn out for pasting on to their walls.

Miss Vogue Australia iOS App Launched is a post from: E-Reader News

Data Conversion Laboratory Hosts Webinar for Education Stateholders


Data Conversion Laboratory specializes in creating digital editions of client-generated content, but also invests in hosting online learning opportunities that focus on digital publishing, conversion, and content. Tomorrow, DCL will be hosting a webinar for anyone considered to be a stakeholder in education, aimed at working on how to build a stronger digital classroom, entitled ,”eBooks in the Classroom: A Stakeholder’s Guide to Going Digital.”

While these stakeholders would initially be administrators or those who can make key decisions that center on how to incorporate digital technology, the focus of the event will actually speak to anyone who has a vested interest in digital implementation, such as classroom teachers, parents, and even community members whose tax dollars fund these initiatives.

According to the registration materials provided by DCL, “Educational books are being converted to digital for ereaders and an increasing number of books are being written specifically for digital and enhanced formats. But what is the real-world experience of ebooks for teachers, students, parents and administrators? What are the benefits and the needs? What do stakeholders need to know about implementing the use of ebooks in the classroom? And how can authors and publishers deliver products that will be needed, wanted and used?”

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 11th, from 1:00pm until 2:00pm ET. Registration for the event is still open, and can be found by clicking HERE.

Data Conversion Laboratory Hosts Webinar for Education Stateholders is a post from: E-Reader News

Kobo Aura, Kindle Paperwhite 2, Sony PRS-T3: Which New eBook Reader Do You Choose?

With all the new ebook readers coming out at the same time, it can make it a little harder to choose which one is right for you. Like always, each brand has its unique pluses and minuses to make the decision-making process more difficult (or easier, depending on where you stand). All three new ebook […]

Page to Screen: eBooks that inspired upcoming movies

At the beginning of June, we kicked off summer with a list of literary inspired motion pictures hitting the big screen in 2013. As we approach the last quarter of the year, we're revisiting that list and sharing updates to the "Book to Movie" flyers (now available in the Partner Portal) that can be displayed in your library or shared in the community to help promote your digital collection. From unbelievable true stories to classic literature adaptations, here is a list of more digital titles that tie-in with movie releases this year:


Now Playing

"J.D. Salinger: A Life" by Kenneth Slawenski

Salinger, a documentary about the reclusive author, is currently in limited US release.


"Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader" by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, released in August, is still playing in select theaters.



"A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" by Richard Phillips

Captain Phillips is scheduled for US release October 11th.


"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare

The movie, adapted for the screen by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, is scheduled for limited US release October 11th.


"Inside WikiLeaks" by Daniel Domscheit-Berg & "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy" by David Leigh and Luke Harding

The WikiLeaks movie, The Fifth Estate, is scheduled for US release October 18th.



"The Wolf of Wall Street" by Jordan Belfort

The Martin Scorsese directed film adaptation is scheduled for US release November 15th.


"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

The popular YA book becomes a movie November 15th.



"The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

George Clooney directs and stars in The Monuments Men, scheduled for US release December 18th.


"Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers & "The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life" by Steven Watts

Saving Mr. Banks, the story behind the scenes of how Walt Disney convinced P.L. Travers to bring everyone's favorite magical nanny to the big screen, hits movie theaters December 20th.


Don't forget to check out the first 2013 'Page to Screen' blog for more popular releases including "Carrie", "Catching Fire" and "The Hobbit". Are there other 'page to screen' titles you'd like to promote? Create your own book to movie posters or displays to help get the word out!


Movie release dates are subject to change and are for the U.S. market. Title availability may vary by format and geographic region. To add these eBooks and audiobooks to your digital collection, visit the OverDrive Marketplace.


Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive. 


Electronics Weekly visits the Pi factory: video

Electronics Weekly dropped in to the Pi factory in Pencoed, South Wales, did a lot of filming on the factory floor, and had a chat with Claire Doyle, who runs Raspberry Pi global distribution for Farnell, one of our manufacturing partners. We know you can’t get enough video of the process behind the building of your Pi, and this is, we think, probably the best and most detailed we’ve seen yet. A big thank you to Gareth and the rest of the team in Pencoed for putting up with yet more disruption on our behalf! (Gareth says he thinks he’s seen more film crews since his factory started making Raspberry Pis than he had in his entire career up to that point.)

I’ll be seeing Gareth and the team later this month. Leave a comment below if there’s anything you’d like me to ask them then.