In the past 1500 years, the format of books has remained largely unchanged until relatively recently with the introduction of the animated book, more specifically known as augmented reality (AR) books or augmented books, where stories are brought to life with the help of a mobile device app. Animated books change the reading experience; users hover an app over illustrations, transforming them into animations, videos, and virtual reality experiences.
In parallel, the US has seen constant crisis within its educational system, with constant disappointing performances in terms of world-wide educational intuition rankings, and studies showing a clear decline in reading among the youth, exasperated by the continuing rise in the amount of digital media and devices providing easy distractions with little educational value.
In comes the counter to these negative social trends in the form of Pacha, the young protagonist in the initial ZBook animated book series, Pachas Pajamas. The series' success in pushing positive educational trends goes hand and hand with the scientific studies done around the positive impact and effectiveness of animated books, with clinical trials showing that augmented reality books increase reading comprehension, expressive vocabulary, and fundamental ability to learn new tasks.
"Over the next several years, The book will become an ever-evolving guided and curated pathway through the contextually relevant universe of written word, multimedia, interactions, and experiences." – Dave Room
Dozen's of startups and numerous established companies have rushed to jump into the future of reading with their own attempts at entering the animated book market. From Pacha, ZBook looks to stretch the technology and benefit of its animated book technology and product farther and farther, going into genre's such as textbooks, non-fiction books, user manuals, cookbooks, and much more.
"Pacha Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature", was the official title for this first ZBook, and it featured over 80 illustrations that when activated using an app, would turn into interactive short animations that instantly caught and kept children's attention taking them through the strong narrative that is Pacha's journey. In addition, the impact goes beyond the pages of the book by hitting on current social issues such as environmental pollution and climate change. Combined with appearances by actor/activist/song-writer Mos Def, lyricist Talib Kweli, cultural icon Cheech Marin, and many more strong influences in today's culture, Pascha's story accomplished what has been failed time and time again, not only keeping a child's attention but engaging them to want to continue reading on their own outside of the series.
Key to the significance of this ZBook series is also it's target demographic, which aims for an older and more well versed demographic than that of other market competitors in animated books, which furthers the significance and influence of the ZBook product compared to the rest of the animated book industry.
Balance Edutainment will be showcasing their newest ZBook release Pacha Pajamas, along with its AR App at the AWE 2017 Startup section for AR/VR Entrepreneurs, and as part of their larger product campaign have retained one of the premier national digital media and marketing firms, Influence Hill Media.
Don't miss BALANCE Edutainment CEO & ZBook Founder Dave Room as he discusses the future of animated books on June 2 at 10 a.m. in the Consumer Track.