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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
This ring lets blind people read non-Braille books
One of the problems with Braille is that it’s typically printed in specialist books aside from the copies created for sighted people, meaning that those with sight difficulties can’t borrow their friends’ books and need to seek out the bookstores and libraries that cater for them. In the past, we’ve seen projects such as Thailand’sMr. Light and Mr. Dark — which uses special typography to enable the blind and non-blind to read the same book. Now the FingerReader initiative from MIT provides visually impaired readers with a wearable ring that can scan written text and read it out loud. READ MORE…
Licensed images made free-to-use through embedded attribution
Back in 2012, stock and news photography agency Getty Images embarked on theWatermark Project, which redesigned the way it protected images from being used illegitimately and added a shortlink to make them more useful. Now, it’s investing in a new service called IMGembed, which provides an easy and free way for anyone to use a licensed image on their site through HTML embedding, while ensuring creators get credited. READ MORE…
3D printed kids’ books enable blind readers to visualize the story
We’ve already seen how on-demand 3D printing can turn simple web searches into a tactile experience for the visually impaired through Yahoo! Japan’s Hands On Search. Now the Tactile Picture Books Project is using the technology to help blind readers use their hands to get more from illustrated narratives. READ MORE…
This social network pays its users for their status updates
It’s widely considered that there’s an unwritten contract between tech companies and their userbase — you get to use our service for free, but we own the content you post and can sell it to third parties or use it to target advertising. However, the backlash over Instagram’s privacy policy changes in 2012 showed that consumers aren’t totally happy to give social networks free rein with their data. We’ve even seen services such as Datacoup enable web users to take control of their online information by choosing what to share and selling it to businesses. Now Bubblews is enabling its users to make money for sharing their thoughts online. READ MORE…
Smart bookmark lets authors tweet at readers who have neglected their novel
Authors writing traditional novels have always had to work hard to attract readers, but the job is made even more difficult in the age of the internet attention span. Smartphones and the web serve as a perennial distraction from reading, contributing to entire shelves of books left abandoned at chapter 3. Argentina-based publisher Eterna Cadencia has in the past printed books with vanishing ink to add a sense of urgency to completing them, and now the Tweet For a Read campaign is using a bookmark that can detect if readers haven’t opened their novel recently and tweets a reminder to pick it back up. READ MORE…
From Mexico, latest news stories printed on bathroom paper towels
For any smartphone owner, accessing the most up-to-date news is hardly a struggle. There’s no shortage of of news outlets offering articles and information online, to say nothing of social networks offering instant updates. To stand out from the crowd then, is a serious challenge for any publisher. We’ve already seen innovative efforts involving receipts printed with news updates, and even coffee cup sleeves printed with the hour’s top headline. In a similar vein, Mexican news outlet Mas Por Mas has created a bathroom paper towel dispenser which prints news headlines on the very paper users will dry their hands with. READ MORE…
Crowdfunded ebooks become copyright-free once they’ve reached their target
Writers want their work to be read, but restrictive DRM ebooks are currently the only way to release a book digitally while ensuring they get remunerated for their effort. unglue.it is a crowdfunding platform that enables authors to charge for their ebooks until they’re happy enough to release them into the public domain. READ MORE…
Book that teaches safe water habits doubles as a water filter
Lack of access to clean water is a massive global problem, especially because many of those affected end up drinking unsafe water and don’t realize it’s bad for them. The University of Virginia has previously made efforts to help with its PureMadi filter, which can be made from raw materials by the communities that use them. Now researchers at the institution are involved in the creation of The Drinkable Book, a manual that contains details of how to avoid unsafe water, with pages that can also be used to kill waterborne diseases. READ MORE…
Kids’ book teaches young girls to code
Books still play a major part in the development of children’s understanding of the world, of which new digital technologies are most definitely now a part. We recently wrote about MakerBot’s LEO the Maker Prince kids’ book, which teaches readers about 3D printing, and now Hello Ruby is another title — this time designed to appeal to girls — that hopes to get them inspired by the web and programming. READ MORE…
Blendle is an iTunes for newspaper articles
Digital publications are still trying to find their feet when it comes to creating a financially successful business model, and in recent times we’ve seen both Offline and Uncoverage try out monthly longform pieces and crowdfunding models respectively. From the Netherlands, Blendle now wants to create a single subscription platform for the country’s multiple newspapers, with users paying for what they read. READ MORE…
Scan a printed article’s headline, instantly get the digital version
Every article that appears in a major magazine today comes in two forms — its printed version and its online counterpart, but they’re both often left unlinked. Peekster is a new app that enables readers to scan the headline of a print article in order to quickly bring up the digital version on their phone, for sharing or saving for later. READ MORE…
Netflix for kids’ books makes reading fun with unlockable achievements
Getting kids to read can sometimes be a difficult task if they don’t have a lot of options to choose from or — what’s more likely — they’d rather play on their phone or tablet. While ideas such as the scannable Smart PJ’s have embraced new technologies to make picking a new story at bedtime more engaging, a new service for kids called Epic! offers a large digital library of children’s titles, complete with rewards for finishing chapters and embarking on reading marathons. READ MORE…
Read a 300-page book in 90 minutes with this app
As online content continues to be increasingly consumed through mobile platforms, it’s no wonder we’re seeing new formats to deliver information more quickly and fluidly. In the past, we’ve seen Wibbitz present any news story as a visual and dynamic infographic instead of plain old text. But now Spritz believes that humans can read much faster using its system of ‘streaming’ text at up to 600 words per minute. READ MORE…
Augmented book enhances the story with tactile sensations
The publishing industry is one that has been hit particularly hard by the advent of digital, but the technology can bring new experiences to reading. In the past we’ve seen Poland’s Elektrobiblioteka offer extra digital content when readers turn the page, and — hoping to enhance the emotional experience of reading — now the Sensory Fiction project coming out of MIT has developed a harness that delivers haptic feedback at relevant points in the narrative. READ MORE…
Project turns URLs into book synopses to promote reading
Web URLs can often be a mess of letters and numbers, which often prompts businesses to use shortening services such as Bitly to make them more presentable — and tweetable. However, a new project believes that the short nature of online communication is killing people’s desire to read. Turning URL shortening on its head, URLITERATURE is a service that lengthens any web address with text from popular books. READ MORE…