MFA project at SVA // Concept + Experience Design
enlight is a smart desk light that enhances the reading experience for researchers, students and book lovers.
It brings features previously limited to eBooks to all books, however old they may be.
Unlike digital music, which has enough advantages for the majority of consumers to have eclipsed and mostly replaced physical formats, eBooks are likely to exist alongside physical books for the long run. Indeed, in the last few years eBook sales have slowed, but hardcover book sales have risen. This led James Surowiecki of The New Yorker to claim “co-existence is more likely than conquest”.
We wondered whether in a world where eBooks and printed media continue to co-exist we might miss some of the features eBook technology has made familiar. Furthermore, physical books have features many feel are missing from eBooks, particularly in an academic context. While linear reading can be great on a Kindle or other device, skipping around a non-fiction book for research purposes can be a frustrating experience. Image or diagram heavy books can also often be more pleasing to consume in print.
enlight utilizes computer vision, optical character recognition, a network connection to an array of data sources and projection-mapping technology to bring a wealth of smart features to print books and documents.
Users can highlight words to see definitions. If a passage is highlighted then contextual encyclopedia definitions, WolframAlpha statistics and other data are provided. They can also scan images and view social highlights from other users. Each highlight is saved in the left panel, though can be discarded by simply swiping away. In-page highlights can also be 'flicked' away to clear the page, without losing the saved highlight itself. Everything saved is synced with the cloud and may be viewed on other devices.