Just watched a video of a conceptual magazine fit for a table-like device. (More than a Kindle/Nook, less than the forthcoming Apple Tablet, probably.) The video explores Popular Science’s vision for rich magazine content delivery, complete with thought out multitouch interaction with content, layout considerations, and user needs for search and sharing.
Take a look for yourself. It’s pretty dazzling and elegant. Could something like this work for a textbook? If so, how would one take content (like a set of course notes) and package them in this beautiful UI? Would this be something that only a publisher could do, or are there technologies out there that would allow the lone teacher to roll-their-own materials in this way? Apple’s Quartz technology seems like a great candidate for building such a content-to-tablet workflow.
If this is the way magazines of the future will work, perhaps it’ll buy 20th century publishing more time until the open source community catches up provides tools to lulu.com for publishing things in this way. How knows? If you know, please sound off in comments.
UPDATE: Minutes after I post, I run into Time Inc.’s version of the same, this time seemingly targeted at Apple’s rumored iSlate.
There’s also CourseSmart’s vision for a textbook on Apple’s rumored iSlate:
Again, I ask: will there be authoring tools that will let people like me get course content onto such a tool that looks as nice and is as interactive? If you know something, please share.