Last year we launched an Open Call for ideas that could benefit from using the integrated electronic platform that the project has been developing over the last three years using paper and conductive inks. Now, we have a winner!
The bitBook project, an analogue and digital book hybrid, is the idea that rose among the others and has gained privileged access to INNPAPER’s printed electronics pilot-line to boost the innovative technology. It has been designed by the Greek startup Amphilab, whose founder is the industrial designer Manolis Kelaidis.
Interactive paper books already exist in the market, mostly as children’s books, but they are primitive in function. Most of them consist of cardboard-like pages or use systems like plastic buttons or QR-codes which require external devices to perform the task.
bitBooks look, feel and smell identical to regular books, avoiding any cables or large plastic components, making the technology almost invisible and allowing for a multi-sensory reading experience. These devices let readers access any digital content by simply touching ‘links’ printed with conductive ink on the book’s pages. They have a low-profile, wireless electronic module connected to nearby equipment, like screens or speakers, which perform the output. They can also be autonomous books with all the digital data stored and incorporated within memory chips, using integrated speakers or paper screens to avoid the need for external equipment.
Also, these hybrids are inclusive, since the actions are intuitive and can also be used by children and people who are not tech-savvy.
The technology from BitBook is a great innovation especially for music books and for educational and entertainment children’s books. This approach will allow to create books specifically for children with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or those from the autistic spectrum, which currently are not available.
Using INNPAPER’s printed electronic devices, which include paper batteries, antennas and paper (electrochromic) displays, this technology can be boosted while retaining the great environmental benefits of paper electronics. Stay tuned!