John Makinson, CEO of book publisher Penguin, unveiled to a crowd this week his vision for the iPad and how be plans on pushing “books” and other content to it. I say “books” because these demos look more like applications to me. In fact, Makinson says, “for the time being at least we’ll be creating a lot of our digital content as applications for sales in app stores in HTML, rather than as ebooks. The definition of a book itself, as you can see, is up for grabs.” As demonstrated in the video above, Penguin plans on bringing children’s books with support for embeddable sound, touch interactivity, and accelerometer (shaking/tilting) implementation; interactive textbooks (human anatomy, shown here); an “online community for vampire lovers” (OK?); a travel companion with an itinerary and maps; and lastly a far-out “intergalactic GPS system” that uses the GPS chip and augmented reality to reveal star constellations when you point the device to the sky. That last one will likely remain a concept for a while. It’s good to see a company really looking ahead into the future of print/digital media. The iPad has the power to do these things; it’s up to the developers (here, book publishers) to make it happen. ‘Nother video of Makinson speaking to the crowd about his ideas after the break.
Watching these demos makes me wish I had a kid so I could buy him an iPad and watch him interact and learn in ways I never imagined were possible when I was a toddler.