I’ve just spotted a couple of children’s picture books in the iPhone App Store, including a title from the popular Milly Molly series. They’re the first fruits of a new technology called QBook from New Zealand company Kiwa Media that’s been under development for the past year.
Billed as “the world’s first touch-enabled read-along colour story book”, a feature of the system is that it highlights the text as it reads aloud, each word zooming out as it’s spoken. The reader can tap on any word to have it highlighted and spoken back or spelled.
It’s similar to the increasingly popular Scrollmotion system but with more sophisticated handling of the read-along text. The QBook also includes a puzzle, colouring and the ability to record your own dialogue.
Among the features listed by the company are:
- Personalize each book with ‘this book belongs to …
- Swipe-to-Read™ to highlight and playback the story at your own pace
- Touch-to-Hear™ individual words spoken
- Touch-to-Spell™ to hear the letters that spell each and every word
- Auto Play to enjoy the narration
- Use the iRead™ Function to read and record the story yourself and customize your book
- Use the Colour Palette to paint each page and save this to customize your book
- Choose the Easy/Hard Word Find puzzle to find words from the story
- Choose the Easy/Hard Memory Pairs game and match the picture card pairs
- Save your high scores and advance up the levels
There’s a free app demo version of a Penguin title, Seb’s Tail, as well as the full version for NZ$6.49 / US$4.99, the same price as the Milly Molly title. You’ll find the titles by searching the App Store for Kiwa Media.