The Coffee Table eBook

Max Whitby has re-imagined the book — by looking not forward, but backward. Twenty-five years ago, the well-spoken Englishman was producing interactive videodiscs for the BBC. Today, he’s producing “living books” for the iPad that realize, finally, the potential of outmoded disc technologies. Think of his apps as coffee-table items for the ebook generation, but they’re much more than that.

Published through his company Touch Press, Whitby’s apps integrate text, imagery, and sound under the reader’s control to foster an exploratory relationship with the subject matter. The company’s first app, The Elements, transforms the chemist’s periodic table into an intensely visual and tactile experience. Pages are decorated with spinning 3D models and high-resolution video that can lead to other pages, allowing a free-form navigation around and through the work. Real-time feeds update variables such as the price of gold. CLICK HERE for the full story.

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