Les Editions Volumiques, Paper computing and curious reading interactions

Les Editions Volumiques finally launched their website showing plenty of curious and original products based on mixing paper and digital technologies:

"Here are the first pieces of les évolutions dynamiques following research on both volume and interactivity, playfully mixing paper and computation. By allowing interactivity and gameplay in the page (for example with the Duckette project) or between the pages (in The book that turns its own pages, or Labyrinthe), we try to bring new life to paper. We then pushed physical behavior to paper and ink (the book that disapears). There, the paper is no longer only the frame for representation, but at the same time the field of a real physical experience. We also played with the volume and perspective of book and content (paradoxales, Meeting-Zombies). And then, we tried to combine paper with this little computer-object almost of us all carry everywhere: our cell phone (the night of the living dead pixels, (i) pirates)."

Why do I blog this? I find these projects fascinating and love the idea of mixing digital tech with paper to create compelling user experiences. The examples showed on the picture (see more on their website) are stunning and show the future of books go far beyond boring reading machines. The use of playful metaphors and game mechanics in the work of Bertrand and Etienne are also highly intriguing for those interested in inspiring ways to renew the reading experience.

Besides, if you're interested in this type of "paper computing", be sure to check the Papercomp 2010 workshop at Ubicomp. Organized by friends from EPFL, it's based on similar ideas:

"Paper is not dead. Books, magazines and other printed materials can now be connected to the digital world, enriched with additional content and even transformed into interactive interfaces. Conversely, some of the screen-based interfaces we currently use to interact with digital data could benefit from being paper-based or make use of specially designed material as light and flexible as paper. In a near future, printed documents could become new ubiquitous interfaces for our everyday interactions with digital information. This is the dawn of paper computing. "