Two local companies, founded by young Rwandans, have announced plans to bring an augmented and interactive experience to book reading in Rwanda.
The partnership worth $10,000 between Augmented Future Ltd, a local Rwandan company and Imagine We -a local publisher house will see use of 2Dimension or 3Dimension animations added to new and existing books and textbooks.
Officials behind this initiative said this will help existing content providers and their readers to unlock interactivity and additional value from existing and new books starting with one of the best-selling books – The ABCs of Rwanda.
“We are passionate about unleashing value from existing content and books to support play-based learning of Rwandan children and the youth. This important partnership with Imagine We extends our ability to reach more children and youth,” said Jean Confident Irene Niyizibyose, the Augmented Future Ltd Co-Founder and Managing Director.
In order to access these digital books, one will be required to scan a code using the Augmented Future mobile app in order to unleash an augmented reality-based experience with every page of the book.
Niyizibyose said that so far 5,000 copies of “The ABCs of Rwanda” have been sold but with the digitalized format the plan is to inform readers to try out the new digital experience added in the book reading culture.
“The ABCs of Rwanda book costs 6,000. If you want to get AR experience you pay 8,000. If you already have the book you only pay 2,000 and get a code to put in our app to unlock the AR experience and start scanning the page you want,” he said.
As of today, Niyizibyose said they have got a positive feedback from a survey they conducted recently where over 100 children in 42 families and 15 teachers showed how AR can be used in education thus a need to bring on board other publishers.
“My children no longer get bored because they have finished reading the book, they keep playing with it using Augmented Future app”, said one parent Donath Nabahungu.
“I was surprised by watching an animation over the pages in the book. It is very exciting,” said Milka, Primary 4 pupil and daughter to Nabahungu.
These findings in AR uptake, said Niyizibyose, will go beyond books and intend to partner with both public and private organizations to add augmented reality experience over their outreach, marketing and advertising materials to enhance their engagement and interactivity.
In entertainment, Niyizibyose said they will partner with museums and art galleries to add augmented reality experience over their existing art works but also work with entertainment houses to enable their content distribution using augmented reality.