Google has managed to register several detailed interactive pop-up book patents. We’ve already seen pop-ups that contain button cell battery powered LED lights like the lightsabers from the Star Wars pop-up books. Google’s interactive pop-up book patent is defined as a “storytelling device that includes electronic output components”. One of the illustrations, shown in the patent, contains a pop-up spread with a speaker, projector and a light source.
Image source: United States Patent and Trademark office
The patent description:
The storytelling device includes electronic output components, such as light sources, speakers, a video projector or a display. The storytelling device is configured to establish an electronic connection with an interactive book, and to receive book data and sensor data from the interactive book via the electronic connection. Then, based on the sensor data and the book data, the storytelling device controls electronic output components, at the storytelling device and/or the interactive book to provide story enhancement effects that are correlated to the interactive book.
Media enhanced pop-up book
Another more abstract product is a so called “Media enhanced pop-up book”. This patent defines an interactive book with pop-up pages that interact with a connected device like a display or computer that includes a camera or scanner. The device recognizes the pop-up spread and delivers content like video, sound and interactive media. This could be something useful for educational purposes but it’s hard to believe that Google will invest in specific products like this. Only time will tell…
Google creates great products and software we all use nowadays. Google is also known as a massive “patent collector” and no one knows when (or if) a patent will ever be developed into a consumer product. All we can hope for is that this isn’t the start of a patent war on pop-up books and pop-up techniques. Paper engineers and publishers may be limited when big companies start to claim this open domain of creativity. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on!