June 27, 2017

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (12) Holo-Newspaper, Magazine, Book

This is the 12th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.


HoloLens - Copy


Holo-Newspaper, Magazine, Book

Development Effort: 7.5/10
Business Value: 8/10
Wow Factor: 9/10
“Holo-Newspaper? Why?”, I heard you say. It sounds odd at first, but allow me to explain.

It’s true, many of us have given up printed newspapers, magazines, and even books. We read stuffs on the web, or e-readers. That doesn’t mean we don’t like publications in paper form. It’s that the web is just so convenient that we can get the same content and we don’t need to pay for it. If you look at the Wired Magazine and its online version. They are totally different. The quality of the two are day and night. One you can call it state-of-the-art, the other is just not comparable, in terms of content, format and elegance. That’s why many people still spend money to buy the printed magazine. The publishers need to make money, they can’t make the same money online, so they have to keep a big difference between the printed version and the online version.

Now, put the HoloLens into the equation. If Wired Magazine release an holographic app, so that when the reader puts on HoloLens, starts the Wired app. What he sees is the printed version of Wired magazine. You can hold it in hands, turn pages like you would do with a real magazine. You can fast flap pages by tapping on the page number, or jump to a page same way. Call out TOC by tapping at bottom of the page (it then appears on a separate window beside the book), or search the book using a virtual keyboard. You can turn on the audio, it will read it to you. Tapping on illustrations, 3D videos will jump out, with characters (this sounds like story book) jumping around. You can annotate the book, it shows or hides by a button switch. I think some of us will buy it if it works like this.

Nothing in this are awfully difficult to do.  All the gestures are standard, HoloLens will support them at the start. How to make the book look realistic is the key. There is a need to deal with the physics of the paper pages, that is the weight, thickness, flexibility of a sheet of paper. Granted, the technology is nothing new: animation movies have done that already.