Disney patents an interactive book that communicates with your smart devices

Douglas Adams, the author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, predicted eBooks way back in 1993.

Since, the launch of Kindle in 2007, it has been predicted in many reports that physical books will lose favor with the readers.  However, it seems that the death of the physical paper books is mistimed at the least.  On the contrary, a recent study by the Publishers Association study has revealed that sales of print books are rising, while digital sales are down for the first time since the invention of the e-reader.  The physical book sales were up to £2.76 billion in 2015 from £2.748 billion in 2014.  Meanwhile, digital sales dropped from £563m to £554m.

Therefore, the paper print is still a prolific and useful medium, and will continue to be found on coffee tables, waiting rooms, offices, schools, among other places, for years to come.  However, paper books do have limitations.  As an example, paper books lack interactivity.  Further, the paper books are not updateable and graphics in paper books are still.

Disney has been working on multimedia paper books and animated physical books.


A recent patent publication from Disney discloses Disney’s attempt to develop interactive book that communicate with users’ smart devices.


As shown above, the smart device displays an image corresponding to the current page of interactive book.  Further, the smart device may play audio corresponding to the current page of interactive book.  For example, a scene may include two fairies talking to each other, with the audio of the dialog playing over the speakers of media device.  Further, the media device may play background music.  As the user’s hand approaches the current page, the volume of the fairies’ dialog reduces, as though the user is hushing the conversation.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160343264
Patent Title: Interactive Book with Proximity, Touch, and/or Gesture Sensing
Publication date: 25 Nov 2016
Filing date: 9 Sep 2015
Inventors: Malcolm Murdock; Michael Hy; Mohammad Poswal; Taylor Hellam; Nikita Pashenkov;
Original Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.