Together with Studio Bleep and Sfinx Games, I am developing Rosie Can’t Sleep: a childrens’ picture book using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, for the target audience of children aged 3 to 6 years. AR is cleverly combined with beautiful and colourful hand-drawn pictures.
AR enables the reader to make the images jump off the book’s pages by using a smartphone or tablet. In fact, it allows for interaction with the illustrations. This way, the book’s story can be somewhat influenced, which results in a richer and more interactive reading experience, connecting the best of two types of media. The app will be made freely available in the App Store and Play Store, while the book can be utilised without the app as well.
Watch this video for a demonstration of AR:
My task was firstly to compose rhyming stanzas that emphasise the connection between the pictures in the book and the fantasy world in the app. The story tells of a girl called Rosie, whose stuffed animal Swinger won’t go to sleep. Therefore, they explore all the rooms in Rosie’s house, each of which turn into adventurous and exciting environments in the fantastic mind of Rosie. The book’s illustration portray the house’s rooms, while the objects in the rooms transform into interactive play opportunities in the app. The text and tone of the poems need to relate to both the ‘realistic’ rooms and the imagined objects for this reason.
Secondly, my task was to link the inherently static nature of a book to the interactivity of the app. The book will always show the same text and images, whereas the app enables readers to create a unique experience out of every reading session. This interconnection caused issues in areas such as interaction, continuity, replay-ability, and branching play experiences. By designing the architecture of the story, texts, and images in a specific manner, I managed to balance all of these factors to achieve an innovative, interactive play and reading experience.
There is a demo available for the picture book as well as the app.
The goal of Rosie Can’t Sleep
Our goal is to give children a fun experience, where they are free to explore and create their own stories. They can do this on their own or together with their brothers, sisters, grandma, grandpa, mom, or dad.
At the moment, the technology of Rosie Can’t Sleep is applied to create an illustrated children’s book, in which you can use the app and all its functions to augment the reading experience. In the future, the same principles could be applied for other causes as well, for example in health care of education.
The strengths of the book:
- Stimulate creativity
- Unique experience
- Play and explore together
- Combining the real world with the digital one
- Discover a hidden world