Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS eReader Book Alters Story to Your Location

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Reading is a wonderful pastime that can transport any book lover to any number of exciting, distant or exotic locations. But, what if you had a story that was tailored to your backyard? The characters could meet at a local restaurant or have the exciting chase down main street. Well, a Brazilian travel company has done just that with a new eBook called Trip Book. It’s taking GPS to a whole new level, and I, for one, think it looks pretty cool.

Created as part of its 20th anniversary campaign, the company Smiles has partnered with a popular Brazilian author to create a story that can travel with the reader using the embedded GPS chip in many devices including smartphones. Unfortunately, the story is aimed at Brazilian readers and therefore is in Portuguese. If you happen to read Portuguese, then you can download it for your Android or iPhone. Otherwise, I doubt you’ll be able to even download it as Google tends to mark things regionally by language.

While this isn’t really relevant for most of you (or me as I can’t read Portuguese) I have to say that the concept of a novel that will change locations with you is pretty cool. According to the Play Store information, the book is currently synced to several limited cities including Rome, Paris, New York, Buenos Aires and a few others. Rather than syncing to the exact same city that you’re currently in, the device seems to instead use the closest city and make references to locations within that city. While it sounds pretty nifty, I admit I’m a little curious about the execution. How would you write a book with interchangeable locations?

Either way, I just had to share with everyone, as this is yet another pretty freaking cool use of GPS for everyday life. The project only launched recently, and I can only hope that someone will think to make an English version eventually so I can try it out for myself. GPS technology and books—what more could one ask for?

Here’s a promotional video for the project, which has a bit more information on the author and the project in general:

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