When was this book last read? How popular is it across the world? How many copies of this book exist?
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.
Books have been the central unit of knowledge transmission for the last 1500 years, yet booksellers have noticed a dramatic drop off in clientele.
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.
Secret Lives of Books brings together four technologists with an extensive track record of groundbreaking practice. Specialising in public engagement, our work has featured at the London Olympics, Barbican, South Bank Centre, National Theatre, V&A and TED Global 2011 & 2012. Lead by a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow, the team have proven business success, critical acclaim and recognition in academic journals & conferences. Commercially successful products include “danceroom Spectroscopy”, a Sci-Art collaboration seedfunded by EPSRC, winner Royal Television Society Award for Best Digital Innovation 2013, touring UK & Europe extensively throughout 2013/14.
LAURA KRIEFMANLaura Kriefman is 2011-2012 Fellow of the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme. She is a choreographer and a guest lecturer at Birkbeck University in Creative Producing. Her critically acclaimed dance company The Guerilla Dance Project (resident at the Pervasive Media Studio) have performed at the National Theatre, South Bank Centre, V&A, Latitude Festival and the NuWrite Festival in Zagreb.
TOM MITCHELLTom Mitchell lectures computer music in the Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies at the University of the West of England in Bristol. With a broad knowledge of music, artificial intelligence, audio processing and gestural recognition, his research explores and combines these domains in new and interesting ways. Tom has a PhD, PgCertEd and BSc from UWE and has worked previously as a professional/freelance musician, programmer and design engineer.
PHIL TEWPhill Tew is based in Bristol and with a degree in Fine Art/Contemporay Media from the Newport School of Art and Design, Phill is a curious blend of programmer and installation artist, leveraging skills gathered from an early age and honed in industry to create artworks that play with generative processing, physical modeling and creativity itself. He is the creative programmer behind the critically acclaimed Me and My Shadow, and Danceroom Spectroscopy.
SEB MADGWICKSeb Madgwick is the director an lead engineer of x-io Technologies and currently wrapping up his Ph.D in the Mechanical Engineering Department at University of Bristol. His academic research has focused on the development of sensory fusion algorithms for MEMS (Micro-Electrical-Mechanical-Systems) sensors and much of this work has appeared as open-source projects and products shared through x-io Technologies. Seb uses his specialist knowledge of sensors and embedded systems to create bespoke solutions, often collaborating with creative technologist and artists.