Book tech news

“The first annual O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference brought together a little more than 400 digital and book publishing professionals for three days of intensive and often entertaining projections about the future of publishing in the digital era—not to mention the future form of the book itself. By and large they left San Jose, Calif., thoroughly satisfied with the first TOC and looking forward to the next one, planned to take place next year in New York City.

“After two days of tutorials and panels on technology and information, the last day of the show managed to bring the focus back to the old-fashioned printed and bound book—but with a hip digital twist. Dale Dougherty, editor and publisher of O’Reilly’s Make magazine—a delightfully useful (and graphically inventive) DIY guide to making all kinds of cool stuff— cited an unusual but pertinent fact during the final keynote presentations. ‘More horses were used in World War II than in any previous war,’ he said. His point is that old technology and new technology typically coexist where you least expect it. Make magazine, Dougherty said, is about how to make old things new again.

“It was the perfect introduction to the next speaker, Manolis Kelaidis, a designer, engineer and lecturer at Britain’s Royal College of Art, and his extraordinary project bLink, an idiosyncratic effort to create a book that combined the qualities of the physical book with the digital functionality of a computer—the next generation book. Constructed with embedded electronics and conductive inks, it’s the prototype of a bound and printed book that, believe it or not, includes hyperlinks like a Web page. A reader can use a finger on the book’s paper pages like a computer’s cursor on the screen. Touch the paper hyperlink and a Bluetooth signal opens a Web page on a nearby screenthat serves up information, music, translations or video that correspond to that link, as if the book were a paper and ink computer.”
Making the Old New Again at TOC, by Calvin Reid and Jody Culkin, PW Daily — Publishers Weekly, 6/21/2007 (Or here if the link is dead)

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