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STARRYWORKS inc. Is Accepting Pre-Orders for PLAYFUL BOOKS - Magical Picture Books Designed to Enhance the Reading Experience with Smartphones

Digital content creator STARRYWORKS inc. has released PLAYFUL BOOKS. By integrating PLAYFUL BOOKS picture books with smartphones, various smartphone-enabled features can be added and tailored to individual pages.

PLAYFUL BOOKS official site: http://playful-books.com

Introduction video (1:26): http://vimeo.com/starryworks/playfulbooks-en

[Background]

While digital environments are becoming more and more familiar to children due to the proliferation of smartphones and gaming devices, many people are starting to feel that this may lead to excessive reliance on games and internet, bad eyesight, or lack of sleep. In fact, over 70% of adults with children in Japan feel apprehensive about children using digital devices*. PLAYFUL BOOKS was developed from the belief that there must be a way to create traditional-style picture books that are integrated with modern technology for children of the ‘digital-native generation’ to enjoy more fully.

(*) Source: Digital Arts Inc., "Actual use of internet connected devices by minors and guardians of preschool children" [translated title]
http://www.DAJ.jp/company/release/data/2014/071401_reference.pdf (see Aug. 27, 2014)
Copyright 2014, Digital Arts Inc.

[Features]

PLAYFUL BOOKS is a system which, rather than simply replacing picture books with a digital medium, uses the digital medium to enhance the perception of the world presented in the book as well as the reader's experience, while also retaining the wonder of traditional picture books. When running the PLAYFUL BOOKS app on a smartphone with one of the specialized picture books, the smartphone can detect the page being read and add an assortment of performance effects.

The main features are as follows:
-- Sound: Add music and sound effects customized to each page.
-- Vibration: Vibrate the book via the smartphone's vibration feature when an event occurs on the page.
-- Knocking: Detect knocks on the picture book to produce a response.
-- TV: Output customized sound and video specific to the designated page by using AppleTV’s AirPlay function.
-- Lighting: Change the colors of the lights to match the story on the page by linking with Phillips hue.
 

[Future prospects]

PLAYFUL BOOKS is scheduled to offer two picture book titles for purchase in late October: "Have You Seen My Crayons?" and "Knock Knock Knock". Simultaneously, the smartphone app will be distributed free of charge. In addition to expanding the roster of available titles, future plans also include aggressive efforts to further enhance linking features, hold book-making workshops, and release software development kits (SDK) that will facilitate the effortless creation of original picture books by authors.

[Product overview]

Product name: PLAYFUL BOOKS
Official website: http://playful-books.com
Introduction video (1:26): http://vimeo.com/starryworks/playfulbooks-en
Developer and distributor: STARRYWORKS inc.
Pre-orders: September 5th, 2014
First shipments and app release: late October, 2014

[Company Overview]

Name: STARRYWORKS inc.
Head office address: #201, RE-006 building, 2-2-17 Utsubohonmachi, Nishi-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu Japan
Established: July 7, 2006
Capital: 5 million yen
Number of employees: 16
CEO: Koji Kimura
Website: http://www.starryworks.co.jp
Business: Planning, production and development of services, content and products.

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