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Electronic Popables Will Be The Next Generation Of Pop-Up Books – I Hope

Electronic Popables (Images courtesy Jie Qi)
By Andrew Liszewski

Who would have thought that someone would find a way to make pop-up books, aka the best type of book ever invented, even better? Well that’s exactly what Jie Qi, with assistance from Leah Buechley and Tshen Chew, from the MIT Media Lab have done with their Electronic Popables. The book uses traditional pop-up paper book mechanics but also integrates modern paper-based electronics for more “dynamic interactivity.” In other words it makes them even more awesome, as you can see in the video below.

[ high-low tech - MIT Media Lab - popables ] VIA [ Architectradure ]








  • joeythenifty

    Not the most necessary invention. Pop-up books are to help kids be enthusiastic about reading, right? If the pop up part gets too interesting, how can you get the kid to care about the words?

  • obi1kenobi1

    This reminds me of the Star Wars pop up book I got a couple years ago (definitely not for kids, it is incredibly detailed and equally delicate). At the end is an epic lightsaber battle and the lightsabers actually light up.

  • esarphie

    I can see this being used in a scant handful of adult pop-up art books… I can't see how you'd make it robust enough to withstand an actual child for more than a few minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/cervantas18109 cervantas18109

    I can see how you would feel it might discourage kinds from reading but I would also imagine it would help with immersion if every couple pages they were greeted with a pop up portion like this relevant to the story. A whole book of popups wouldn't be for reading to begin with. But including these with an already existing book, in my opinion, would help a child read more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19701276 facebook-19701276

    I don't think pop-up books have ever been good way of helping children get interested in reading. I know when I was a kid I don't remember ever reading a word in any pop-up book I had.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19701276 facebook-19701276

    I think these sensors are going to revolutionize paper media as we know it. Imagine greeting cards that react to touch or bending. The technology doesn't just have to be for entertainment. How about an integrated book light that automatically turns on when a book is opened at night. An ambient light sensor and a “stretch” sensor would be all you need. Very cool stuff.

  • dubzilla

    I think that it is awesome that the great minds of MIT are working on pop-up books with lights. You would think there are better things for them to be working on like making my battery last longer on my Iphone.

  • dubzilla

    I think that pop up books might not get kids interested in reading but these books might serve to get little kids interested in Books before they are old enough to read.

  • Dyoung720

    where were these things when i was a kid! it would have made a pop up book that much more interesting. though i agree that it takes away from the real reason someone would grab a book (to read) but come on.. who can say they grabbed a pop up book off the shelf to see the words. lol

  • dubzilla

    That's True

  • Anonymous

    That is so awesome. I am just waiting for the next innovation in Lite Brite so you can build the picture and then add animation. I honestly think it is just a matter of time.

  • Anonymous

    That is so awesome. I am just waiting for the next innovation in Lite Brite so you can build the picture and then add animation. I honestly think it is just a matter of time.

  • cirez

    That is quite impressive, i probably would have taken it apart to try to figure out how it worked if I had one of those as a kid. I dont think they would have been too happy with that since I bet a lot of work went into that book.

  • joeythenifty

    Military technology — sneak one of these suckers into the hide out of an illiterate epileptic terrorist and BAM

  • http://twitter.com/Zachfersure Zach de Graaff

    This is definitely cool, but isn't it kinda taking the imagination out of a book? and wouldnt this be pretty expensive for a book of something?

  • charliehorse43

    I am just not that impressed. Do we really need these in popup books.

  • dubzilla

    oh i see. They can't just come out and say that. Clever

  • lindacressdowdy

    This will certainly sell, in children's or adult popups. The key is to have a storyline that justifies the novelty. I have over 20 years experience in children's publishing, including popups. If you need help strategizing or even writing copy to justify the specialness these elements bring, let me know! Or if you are looking for a popup publisher to brand this I can put you in touch with the best.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is beautiful work. I’m just learning about physical computing and programming, so I greatly appreciate what they’re doing here. It doesn’t necessarily seem like it can be used for children, though it has potential. I know I would buy one, because it’s wonderful to look at and interact with.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is beautiful work. I’m just learning about physical computing and programming, so I greatly appreciate what they’re doing here. It doesn’t necessarily seem like it can be used for children, though it has potential. I know I would buy one, because it’s wonderful to look at and interact with.

  • baggyklown

    i love the venus fly trap page at 2:00

  • tarzy76

    I think it is terrific, but I wanted to know how much the book was and could not find the price anywhere?

  • tarzy76

    I think it is terrific, but I wanted to know how much the book was and could not find the price anywhere?