Guerilla Dance Project and Tom Mitchell of University of the West of England join forces to celebrate the physical book as the centerpiece of information exchange. Transforming a quiet workspace into a beautiful interactive platform, their experience will visualise the unexploited data sets of our public libraries, rewarding bookish curiosity with unexpected connections.
A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM:
In January 2012 we received knowledge exchange funding from REACT – one of the AHRC’s creative economy hubs. After three months part time R&D, we have developed a working concept prototype of a retail book market media exploration and commerce engine:
THE SECRET LIVES OF BOOKS
This project celebrates the secrets lives of books, inspiring exploration of a new connected world of favourite titles waiting to be discovered. An integrated point of sale installation including a wall sized screen, novel yet familiar high tech navigation device and curated trails combine to form a unique experience that can only be full appreciated in a physical store and companion app and help challenge lesser online only experiences.
WATERSTONES VS AMAZON
The UK’s leading bookstore with 300 stores – The no.1 online bookstore
THE PROBLEMBookstores face a major crisis: Amazon’s prices, search engine & customer optimised recommendations dominate the book retail market. Waterstones needs to increase the transactional value of an in-store purchase. Traditional approaches include upselling and cross-selling titles at live events. Behavioural economists have proved that the “Endowment Effect” (holding an item in your hands), makes you more likely to purchase. It creates an emotional connection to the item of perceived ownership that encourages impulse purchasing. [Suzanne Shu, Marketing Professor, UCLA]
THE DEMANDBookstores need to create a unique selling experience to draw new and returning customers. They need to encourage sales, & find a different angle on the publishing market to survive Amazon. As the affect of selling coffee as an upselling device diminishes, new tactics need to be found that value the customer, value books, increase purchases, create return engagement & engage across generations. People need to be encouraged to explore books in a new way: being able to pick up any book in store & find out not only further information about it, but discover new books encourages exploration of the building & the shop catalogue.
THE COMPETITIONAmazon is any bookstores biggest competitor. A bookstores forte is its physical presence and a real life device for interacting with book metadata gives you an immersive experience that increasing the engagement with the product, and customer relationship with the store. At a top level this is a system that allows you to move an object, generate visuals, sound & manipulate metadata. There are no direct competitors in this market and we have already been approached directly by Buro Happold, The Library of Birmingham, Blackwells, The Eden Project & The Imperial War Museum North.
Secret Lives of Books is a hybrid product, a living wall display that allows customers to choose any book from the store and celebrate and explore the millions of books physically in the world.
Augmented browsing combines the digital & metadata to surpass the online experience, responding to our subconscious behavioural tendencies when searching for new books & responding to our human love of holding tangible objects.
AN AUGMENTED REALITY PLATFORM
Secret Lives of Books is an augmented reality platform that allows customers to navigate large & complex metadata to discover & buy more books. Using interactive visuals & an advanced IMU embedded in a physical object, the user participates in a immersive exploration that responds to instinctive gestures & behaviours, creating a satisfying, real time exploration of different books. As you explore the visuals you access portals to media sources such as audio recordings, publication information, purchasing options or library holdings.
Utilising a mix of universal data & store specific metadata we can create a unique locative level to the experience, which still honours some booksellers preference to allow individual store staff to shape recommendations & seasonal collections. Secret Lives of Books and its app can be skinned with brand identities and integrated with their webselling platforms. Libraries are expected to be an important additional market.