I have done a little research about Augmented Reality (AR) lately and this is one of the few really useful examples of AR solutions for books that I have found (unfortunately I couldn’t find a video of it).
Here is how it works: The book designers have embedded cues (a graphic or a code) into the graphics and the software on your cell phone reacts to those. In this example, the child’s book shows several Chinese characters and if you point your cell’s camera to the page, a small 3D cartoon panda comes to life on your mobile’s display and says the character in English and then in Mandarin. This way the child doesn’t need a computer to use a learning software but still has the advantages of modern media – animation, interaction, sound – when (and where) needed.
These kinds of „magic books“ will become available by the end of this year.
Learn more about the current commercial development in the SCIAM article here: Augmented Reality Makes Commercial Headway: Scientific American
Or have a look at my new AR YouTube Playlist with many different examples of applied Augmented Reality.