Diffusion Generator: latest news (May 09)
Last month we completed our Feasibility Study for the Technology Strategy Board to investigate the potential for third parties to use Diffusion Generator to create and publish eBooks and StoryCubes via an API. As part of this process we developed a completely new platform for the Generator which makes it much more flexible – the prototype now includes numerous new features:
- creation of portrait and landscape eBooks
- use of both ‘classic’ and ‘book‘ binding methods for eBooks (see our design schematics)
- creation of single and double sided StoryCubes
- offline content design ability for eBooks & StoryCubes (via PDF upload)
- ability to flow HTML content into eBooks & StoryCubes
- Unicode support for non-Roman typefaces for languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Aramaic and many others
- eBook templates supporting right-to-left languages (e.g. Arabic)
- support for personalised/branded eBook & StoryCube templates
- support for future shareable designs to be incorporated into Generator
We have been testing the system since late March and shortly will publish some eBooks created recently using the new Generator to demonstrate some of the new formats (e.g. landscape and ‘book’ binding options). Meanwhile we are fundraising for the next stage of development to build a web interface for individual access, as well as some demonstrator projects with 3rd party partners (a museum, a university, a data aggregation platform, a visitor attraction centre) exploring how institutions might use the Generator to offer “tangible souvenirs” of digital experiences.
The “tangible souvenir” concept has been developed by Proboscis over the last couple of years based on our own experiences of creating projects that engage people with digital technologies (e.g. Urban Tapestries, Snout, Feral Robots etc) but which require digital technologies (e.g. a web browser) to review. We frequently find that people want to refer back to an experience with others but are often in a place (the pub, a cafe, over the dinner table etc) where they don’t have access to a suitable screen or fast web connection for showing what they experienced. The idea behind “tangible souvenirs” is simply to create physical outputs culled from digital assets created or engaged with during a ‘digital’ experience (such as using an interactive museum guide). A personalised eBook or StoryCube is then provided which can be kept in a pocket, passed around, given away and re-created as often as the person likes.
More updates next month…