Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar! We appreciate the support and look forward to answering any remaining questions below!
If you were unable to attend, here is a recording of our webinar!
Here are the questions we were able to answer during the live webinar:
Q: Do you think AR and VR will replace physical books for children’s literature, and if so, and how long?
Hayden McGreal (HM): I think we believe, as a whole, that really these technologies and specifically AR and VR immersive technologies like that are never meant to fully replace physical books obviously. Physical books are really deep and dear to some people’s hearts and people just prefer that method. There are some flaws that need to be worked out with AR and VR as we progress through these technologies. So I think AR and VR definitely have a place in the market for specialty users or people who want a different kind of experience. But their intention with the invention of these technologies is never to replace physical books. That’s just something that is very hard to do and I don’t think it’s really feasible.
Q: Do interactive ebooks cost more than regular ebooks?
Kaleigh Lueske (KL): It really just depends on where you’re getting your personalized eBook. So for me I got my personalized one for free from cuSTEMize. There are a lot of different opportunities and places to get them from, such as places like Wonderbly with their personalized books. They’re relatively the same price as other books that you would buy from the bookstore so that’s not a challenge really.
Q: Do you think it’s unhealthy to introduce technology to children at such a young age?
HM: Going back to that idea of kind of splitting up markets, I think there is a pretty big group of people now and especially as we move into the future who are raised on technology; and there’s definitely parents who don’t think and don’t see as much of a problem to introduce technology to children at such a young age. That is kind of the market that these things are geared towards. Again, there’s always going to be a very, very divisive issue about technology. I think especially when you’re getting into children’s literature and such, because of that kind of connection with a book and reading is supposed to be an analog experience, something that’s done in person, not on the screen screens are typically associated with video games or videos and stuff that is “bad” for you as a child. But again, I think there is that group that is growing as time goes on who accept technology into their lives more and more as digital natives, like we are who are growing and have families. I think we’re more open to ideas like digital eBooks and stuff like that. So I feel like people who are feeling that it’s unhealthy to introduce technology to children at such a young age are, again, not really the market that this is going for. Because if you think that it’s really hard to sway your opinion. But there are things I think Kaleigh did some research into this that sway people towards that. I think with learning to read and stuff like that. There are significant benefits that do make it healthy for children to be introduced to technologies such as a young age. I don’t know if Kaleigh could speak to that?
KL: Yeah, especially if you’re a child trying to learn a new language, sometimes it can be a little difficult if it’s just the pen and paper. But if you make it more interactive, something more interesting with more features, that can help increase that learning then it’s definitely valuable for them.
Q: Do you think existing eReaders will grasp the idea of using interactive reading?
KL: It depends on if you’re using the Kindle eReader, then no it’s not going to have these interactive features, just because the device is simple in itself. But for technology like the iPad, if you are going to be reading eBooks off of there, there are a lot of advances I’m sure that Apple will have for that. And who knows how that’s going to evolve and change. So to answer your question, I don’t think existing ones like the little tiny ones that look like paper won’t, but things such as the iPad and tablets that have those capabilities can for sure.
Q: How can more children get access to rich experiences, even if their families can’t afford technology like 3D Systems?
HM: These technologies and a lot of stuff that has to do with children’s literature has the benefit of catching the eye of libraries and community services like that. So I think it’s very important that technologies like this exist and enhance the reading experience. And when they do progress and evolve to a point which is viable for things like learning to read and just, in general, converting analog traditional books to digital books; that really does interest libraries and libraries have a lot of money and a lot of outreach, and they have the ability to deliver things to children that do not have the financial capabilities of affording some of these more expensive technologies like VR. Even VR, specifically, there are cheaper alternatives and there’s the headset that Kaleigh mentioned today.
KL: Say even schools, they adopt these technologies as well. First you saw them buying smart boards for classes to incorporate technology so that might be something they look into more as time goes on, for sure.
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