It uses Apple’s private, undocumented programming APIs, so it’s unlikely ever to be seen in the App Store, but that doesn’t make this e-book page-flipping design any less amazing. The demo, from KAIST Institute of Information Technology Convergence, shows us just how lame our current e-books are.
Most tablet-based e-readers have a fancy page-turn animation, but most people soon find it distracting and switch it off. However, the pages of a paper book can be flipped, shuffles and rifled, and you can mark several pages at once by sticking your fingers in between them. The KAIST prototype brings this utility to a multitouch screen, using a paper metaphor to help you navigate quickly and easily.
I don’t care for this kind of thing when I’m reading a novel, but for flipping through a magazine or instruction manual it looks ideal. And if it worked with the tabs of a web-browser, I might be able to get all my work done on the iPad.
Then again, maybe this is just a throwback to old times, and we should find a new way to quickly browse pages (by thumbnail perhaps) and just forget about paper. Still, it’s impressive. and I’d totally buy this app.