Inception, a technology company based in Tel Aviv, has partnered with Penguin Random House for the November 7 launch of Bookful, a new platform offering augmented reality children’s books. The first four books available on the platform are The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, all by Beatrix Potter; the DK Children’s Encyclopedia; and two Step-into-Reading titles, Dinosaur Days by Joyce Milton, illustrated by Franco Tempesta, and S-s-snakes by Lucille Recht Penner, illustrated by Peter Barrett.
The platform provides digital facsimiles of physical books that can be read on a phone or tablet. The platform offers two modes: “read,” which provides the story with enhanced animations, such as talking creatures, and “play,” which offers games derived from the story.
“We want to bring existing books to life,” said Benny Arbel, CEO of Indeption. “We are trying to put the books into the screen time. We are not trying to bring the screen into book time.”
For the initial batch of books, all animations were produced in-house by the company, though the long-term goal is for Bookful to offer an easy-to-use platform for publishers to create their own animations.
Inception is not the first platform to make such a promise. TigerCreate, originally launched by the German publisher Oetinger in 2013, is just one company offering a platform for publishers to create their own multimedia ebooks. Several others have come and gone.
The company is new to the book space, having come to publishing through work with clients that include other media companies, such as Pitchfork and Time Out. Bookful is also launching simultaneously in the U.K. Abel says the company will announce new development partners shortly.
At launch, the app is available on Apple iOS. An Android version is expected shortly. For examples of how the Bookful platform works, click here.
Divya Sawhney, v-p for strategy and corporate development at Penguin Random House, said, “As the largest global trade publisher, Penguin Random House is excited to include some of our key titles in platforms that enhance reach and engagement with children worldwide.”