As technology continues to develop, a new generation different from ours is also developing. The children of today are surrounded with touch screens and digital devices, and less kids are reading. According to a study by Scholastic, the number of frequent readers has been on decline for the past several years. 37% of children were frequent readers in 2010 and by 2014 frequent readers had fallen to 31%.
We think it is important to engage children with fun and imaginative stories, but there are many activities and messages competing for children’s attention these days. Mobile devices are a strong draw for children’s attention but augmented reality is an opportunity to make reading fun again. By bringing the illustrations in a book to life, reading becomes a play-based experience, making kids want to read. Studies have shown that Augmented reality books can increase reading comprehension, expressive vocabulary and learning of spatial tasks.
Clay tablets were the first books and that gave way to papyrus scrolls. About 2000 years ago, the codex, which is commonly thought of as a book first appeared and has remained largely unchanged until now with the animated book.
Animated books are also known as Augmented Reality (AR) books or augmented books, bringing stories to life with the help of a mobile device app. Hovering the app over the book, transforms the illustrations into animations, videos, and virtual reality experiences.
The first virtual reality product was a book; researchers have found that the same neurological regions are stimulated when reading about an experience and experiencing it in real life. Thus when the children reads our stories and sees them come alive, their brains do not make a distinction between the augmented reading experience and actual experience. Thus, the child can actually learn to develop empathy through the augmented reading experience.
Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature is an environmental children’s book that addresses hot topics such as climate change and global warming. These topics are not commonly brought up to children but it is important to foster the idea of protecting the environment from a young age. With the app and augmented reality, we are encouraging the children to read, to be curious about the world, and teaching them valuable life lessons all while keeping them engaged with illustrations that jump off the pages from the book.
We can make kids excited about reading and turn them into frequent readers, but we will need to leverage technology to make reading fun again. Augmented reality books can alter the future and make reading fun again for all ages while teaching children important lessons.