Augmented reality (AR) technology, when combined with a book, simply involves using the camera on a smartphone or tablet to view digital images superimposed over real things, in this case a book. The latest AR book that we have added to our collection at home is a personalised one from TinyMe, which the preppie in the house thinks is the best thing ever – because it features her name of course. It was the perfect pickup for a preppie, as of course they’re all learning single letter sounds first up this term. She’s in book/phonics/AR heaven and ‘The Amazing Alphabet’ has been getting a huge workout. I’m not usually a fan of personalised books as they tend to be poorly written and formulaic, but we’ve used TinyMe products a few times now and they are always fab, so I took the risk. The personalising in ‘The Amazing Alphabet’ is seamless and contextual; they have managed to not destroy the narrative structure by just shoving in the child’s’ name at random intervals!
I love digital innovations that add to the joy of reading for young children and I’m not one to worry about digital killing print – I am confident that the print book and digital book can happily co-exist. When I was 10 I was convinced I’d be being teleported to Narnia by the time I was 30, and it hasn’t happened for me yet, so I don’t think the book is dying anytime soon. For me anyway, digital innovations just enhance and extend the book reading experience. ‘The Amazing Alphabet’ could very happily just be read as a personalised romp through the alphabet, but the added AR adds such an element of wonder and turns the experience into an interactive reading session.
AR books have been around for a while now, but Anne Weaver and Jackie Child have introduced me to some really brilliant AR books like the ones I talk about here. We use AR technology a fair bit in our school library and students respond with such delight,it really does add something cool to the reading experience, and that can only be a good thing.
You can read more about ‘The Amazing Alphabet’ on the TinyMe site here. #notsponsored