Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
DNP and Impress R&D Develop Software Allowing Readers to Centralize e-Book Management
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and Impress R&D, a member of the Impress Group engaged in data communications related media operations aimed at corporations have jointly developed a new e-book interface that helps maximizes reader convenience.
The newly developed interface allows readers to take e-books with different text formats and viewers purchased from multiple e-book sales sites and create a book shelf where centralized management can be performed. It is planned to offer this service free of charge in the interests of promoting the development of an open environment for e-book trade.
At present, e-books exist in a variety of text formats and viewers, and the terminal devices readers use when reading them are also different. In addition to the text format, viewer and terminal device, usage may also differ depending on the e-book store, and book shelves designed to organize and store e-books tend to be offered on a store-by-store basis. As a result, in cases where readers purchase-books from different e-book stores, it is often necessary to use multiple book shelves that follow rules unique to each e-book store. Nor is there any common rule for the use of book marks or features such as underlining. It was against this backdrop that our two companies decided to develop a new interface to integrate e-book reading environments.
[Centralized Management of e-books Purchased through Multiple Outlets]
The newly developed interface facilitates links between different e-book viewers and e-book outlets, making it possible to perform the centralized management of e-books regardless of where they were purchased, while also integrating data specified by the reader, including book marks and underlines.
Looking ahead, it is also planned to mount this new interface with functions offering links to services such as Print On Demand.
[Intuitive Operation Using Book Spines]
The newly developed interface utilizes real book spines to create an external image similar to an actual bookshelf, allowing for readers to use it in an intuitive manner. The basic function is a drag-and-pull tool allowing readers to move specific spines across the screen on either a genre or author basis, and to add or remove partitions at will. And by adopting the medium of book spines, it also becomes possible to view numerous e-books on various screen sizes, including those for smart phones.
[Providing an Environment that can be used with any Reading Scene]
The newly developed interface is an Android OS prototype. Looking ahead, we plan to make this interface compatible with iOS and Windows, and make it possible to organize books and book shelves with the same operation regardless of the e-book terminal device, whether it be tablet, notebook, or Smart Phone based.
[To be Offered Free of Charge, Aiming to Achieve an Open Environment]
In order to create the ideal open environment for book shelves it is necessary to gain the agreement and cooperation of e-book viewer providers and e-book outlets. As a result, DNP and Impress R&D will make the interface specification widely available free of charge, and will call for similar cooperation from domestic and overseas e-book publishing interests, aiming to create an open environment for e-book trade.
[Plans to Release Improved Beta Version in September 2011]
It is planned to release the Android OS beta-version in September 2011. Following the release we aim to reflect the voices of our users in the new version looking to create a highly convenient book shelf environment.
The newly developed interface was displayed at the DNP booth at the 15th e-Book Expo Tokyo held at Tokyo Big Sight from July 7 to July 9.