If there’s one complaint that people have about E-book readers (besides the fact that they’re not flexible yet), it’s that they don’t really replicate the feel of a real book. A team of researchers in Japan aims to change that, by creating a tactile feedback mechanism for digital books.
Developed by a team from Osaka University, the Paranga is a mechanical device that acts as a controller for an E-book reader, providing readers with the sensation of actually flipping pages. The system can detect how much the book is bent, then page flips are detected using a paper-covered roller. Here’s a video the guys at DigInfo TV shot, showing off the Paranga in action:
Funny thing is that it’s not accurate enough yet to detect individual page turns, so in the prototype it’s used to just play with a flip-book animation. The concept seems interesting enough, but the fact that any version of such a device would add unnecessary bulk to the svelte E-reader, it’s kind of a non-starter. Perhaps they’ll figure out a way to create some sort of miniature haptic device that feels like turning pages without all the mechanical components, and then they’ll have something. For now, the concept is nothing more than an amusing novelty.