September 22, 2014

Regan Arts’ first project will virtually be a real book.


Oculus Rift Development Version

Imagine this, but made of cardboard and covered in tears. Via Wikipedia.

The first project from Regan Arts, the multimedia-publishing-imprint-venture-company started by Judith Regan, will be a “virtual reality” book, titled The Virtual Reality Beginner’s Guide and VR Smartphone Toolkit. It is set for release on October 28th, and is already considered by many experts (read: me) to be the frontrunner for “Sexiest Book Title of the Year.” 

It is a 40 page book that comes inside of a box that also comes with a cardboard viewer that uses your smartphone and some cruise-ship-towel-art to turn the whole thing into some kind of ambiguous virtual reality set-up. So, anyone that buys the book can use the VR Toolkit to build a VR Headset that they then mount on their phone and in conjunction with the two, the consumer has built a virtual reality device. And it only took four hours and ended 50% of the friendships that were going strong when the process started.

I was confused, too.

According to Regan, it’s just like, well, a regular book.

“Books are the oldest version of virtual reality. Virtual Reality Beginner’s Guide and the VR Smartphone Viewer Toolkit brings us beyond the book or screen, and past 3D by offering a fully immersive experience that is a game-changer,” said Regan. “Virtual reality is transformative and will remake the media, technology, and entertainment landscape—a theme that will resonate in all of our releases. This title is not just a book, it’s an experience.”

Still confused? Me too.

I don’t want to get all “…in my day…” on anyone, mostly because I’m basically an infant, but it seems like a regular paperback book is a pretty immersive experience. Regardless, if someone wants to put book related technological innovation in the hands of consumers, this was probably one of the few routes. We’ve already figured out how to read a book without any paper. Which I guess means its time to reinvent the wheel all together.

In all likelihood, the whole thing will make sense when it comes out. Right now, it sounds like they’re asking people to build a small piece of furniture from Ikea every time they want to crack it open.