Disney’s Innovation Brings a 2-D Experience to 3-D Augmented Reality

Disney 3-D Coloring Book

It is imperative in the ever-changing market for publishing companies to move with advancements in technology and keep up with current trends to remain relevant. Disney is doing just that with their new coloring book for children that allows the user to experience their drawings in 3-D. The app is currently in development and uses an augmented reality algorithm to generate a 3-D model of characters that the user is actively coloring. The 3-D character model is responsive to the coloring in the book and thus is acquiring the colors in real time. This amazing advancement takes current related apps one step further. (In the past a character would fully render only once coloring was completed.)

The research team explains in their abstract that the thought behind this app is to keep tactile activities for children, like coloring, an exciting and enjoyable experience in a world where screens are interacted with most. Here, the act of coloring is still the primary activity and the technology provides an enhanced experience. This notion is paramount to the future of all publishing initiatives. Presses do not need to worry about their readership losing sight of the enjoyment or purpose of reading relevant content. They only need to explore technological advancements that enhance their content.

Imagine the possibilities for publishers with the ability to take 2-D content and enhance it in 3-D form. Medical journals can come to life with 3-D models of organs and medical instruments via interactive app. Graphic novels can feature an accompanying app to take a closer look at 3-D scenes or a character’s physicality. As the article states, the app is still in the research phase, but if Disney can pull this off it is certainly groundbreaking for children’s books as well as other interactive works of the future.

By Kelly Schneider


From eBook to App: The Many Options for ePublishing Interactivity

By Kelly Schneider

We live in a world with constant stimulation. Our phones and tablets are full of apps with streaming video content, social media feeds, and ever-updating news sources. How does publishing adapt to an audience used to so much interactivity and in a landscape with so many other outlets competing for user attention?

The article “Interactive eBook Apps: The Reinvention of Reading and Interactivity” explores the evolution of interactivity in ePublishing, from the beginning of eBooks with limited functionality to Apps that overuse interactivity for the sake of including interactivity alone. Ideally, interactivity allows for enhancement of reader experience by addition of video content, animation, and immersion of the user into the material itself. The article contains many examples of past works that have been successful at interactivity, such as Al Gore’s publication “Our Choice“, as well as others that have fallen short of the goal of interactivity, like the “Alice in Wonderland” app for iPad that overused features of interactivity and ultimately distracted from the work instead of enhancing the content.

My favorite interactive elements in ePublishing come from a genre that has used these features to their advantage, children’s eBooks. Because children are growing up with no knowledge of a world before apps and interactivity, eBooks with new features are perfect for this new generation. I recommend taking a look at “The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends” app, which takes a classic story and reinvents it for the interactive space.