3DS, 3D This, 3D That, 3D Books!

Ars Technica reports that Nintendo is releasing the 3DS on March 27th. The 3DS is a handheld 3D games console that does not require the use of 3D glasses to see games in 3D. The year 2011 seems to be shaping up as the year that 3D makes a big play for our living rooms, but what about our books?

The eBook format already presents numerous advantages over printed books, but so far our reading devices have sought to imitate the printed book reading experience. This makes some sense with respect to converting books that began their lives in the printed page. But going forward, I think we’ll see  a whole lot more from the new breed of direct to digital books.

For example, fan fiction often places the reader along side their favorite characters in romantic, and often embarrassingly juvenile, adventures. But the reader is still left to see the story through the eyes of the author. What if the eBook could access the reader’s Facebook profile and then update the story to truly place them within it! Perhaps not great literature, but probably a lot of fun!

Going further, an eReader making use of 3DS technology, could display story illustrations in 3D. Or perhaps present the story characters and environs in 3D from a first person perspective as the reader progresses through the book. Add voice and interactivity, and you end up with the 3D equivalent of Japanese interactive novel games, often referred to as “dating sims”.

Most readers may not want that level of interactivity with their books. But part of the beauty of the new digital medium is customizability. Each person can personalize the experience to use as much or as little of the tech as they like. And doubtless, there will be those who will prefer to merely turn the perfectly modeled pages of a physical book, rendered in high resolution 3D graphics.

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