It is pretty obvious now that the concept of a book is morphing so rapidly before our very eyes, we can hardly keep up as consumers. Every day new experiments blending together animation, games, and books appear on the app store. We don’t even have proper language to describe them, but I can say it is simultaneously thrilling and frustrating to be riding this new wave.
Once in a while, an interactive book (for lack of a better term) comes by that raises the bar and thus deserves praise. And in the case of Bobo Explores Light, the bar has been raised significantly.
Consider this the radical reinvention of a gradeschool text book about light. Since I’m not a parent, I don’t know the exact age range this is aimed at, but I have a feeling kids 6 – 12 would find this app equally entertaining and instructive.
You can control a little robot called Bobo that allows you to play with small game like experiences that illustrate to you the different properties of light from lasers, to refraction, to the sun, etc.
Each “page” contains not just the interactive portion, but also supplemental pull downs that contain text, images, and video. What is so interesting to me is how boring and uninteresting this tertiary content becomes by comparison after interacting with Bobo and the various “game” portions.
To me, Bobo is a giant step in the right direction, and I hope we see more text books taking a cue from games in the future. Apple announced interactive text books today for ibooks, and while I applaud the transition from static printed page, Bobo shows that there is plenty of room to push the envelope further.