Sony has just announced the advent of what could very well be the future of reading for kids and adults alike – the Wonderbook, where reading gets tethered to augmented reality. According to Sony “Wonderbook puts a physical book in your hands and supports a new range of experiences.” You don’t say? Textbooks might still remain dry, as there is plenty of work that needs to be done to bring augmented reality to a dry textbook, but storybooks – those are a different creature altogether. Moonbot Studios has already jumped aboard to work on a new tale for Wonderbooks, and Sony also did mention that J.K. Rowling is with them on this project. In fact, Wonderbook: Book of Spells will be her first book on this platform, and is also part of a collaboration with Pottermore. Basically, you can cast spells using your PS Move, that doubles up as a magic wand – although I must say it is one of the more unsightly wands out there.
Each chapter has a “conundrum” located right at the end, including spells that you can “learn”. The was a short snafu with the live demo of the Wonderbook at the end of its presentation, but it goes without saying that Sony will be ironing out most, if not all, bugs before it is ready for release to the masses. Will this help kids get better grades? Not really, but it might help them be more engaged with reading instead of just receiving passive entertainment from the TV. On the bright side, it has turned once-Muggles into wizards and witches, without having the Ministry of Magic butt into our spell casting affairs, right? Expect the Wonderbook to launch in time for the holiday season.