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Sony shows off augmented reality books at expo

Augmented reality (AR), an enhanced version of certain real objects generated by using computer technology to provide supplementary information on those objects, has been demonstrated at length by Sony at a recent consumer electronics event, in the form of its new ‘Wonderbook’ technology.

The Wonderbook concept, as presented at the recent 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), is said to be seen by Sony as a way of reviving the tradition of book reading amongst a modern audience.

The principle behind the technology involves scanning a specially modified printed page with a camera, the electronic signals from which are then fed into a PS3 console, and subsequently converted into a series of sophisticated interactive images which can be displayed on a TV monitor.

At E3 Sony is reported to have taken the opportunity to draw particular attention to one of the more prestigious Wonderbook titles amongst its range: a special collaboration with Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, entitled the Book of Spells.

Drawing on magic instructions and incantations taken directly from the pages of Rowling’s Harry Potter books, the Book of Spells claims to enhance the reader’s experience of the original written text through images generated via Sony’s own AR technology.

Observers at 3E say Sony is keen to stress that Wonderbook technology is designed to increase consumer engagement with literature, rather than simply replace the printed word.

Indeed, Sony is reported as claiming that the quality of the enhancements offered via its Wonderbooks, will, on the contrary, only help to increase public demand for traditional print media.

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