Graphics and Multimedia
Currently, the focus is on using eBook readers and the iPad to access online booksthat is, traditional, printed books, made up of lots of text with perhaps some graphics, ported to a digital device.
Already, though, a few brave publishers are starting to integrate more color graphics, animations, video clips, and audio within their books. In the future, far more complex and interesting mashups are likely.
One early example is Pearson’s Using series, such as my own upcoming Using the Apple iPad. The Using series was already highly popular before e-readers came along. What Pearson has done is to integrate video and audio clips alongside the previous content.
Buying the bookin print or onlinegets you access to the clips. You still have the full experience of a Using book if you just buy the printed book, and never go near a computer for more. But if you do use a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone, you can access the additional multimedia content easilyeven more so if you buy the e-book. The e-book has color graphics, instead of grayscale images, as well.
This is a sophisticated and rich approach. It’s also only the beginning. In the future, e-books will include everything from links, to color graphics, to live conversations with the author.