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Guest monkeyboy

What’s The Problem With Books? – Ah I See…

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Guest monkeyboy

When I saw this design challenge I thought about the problems I had with books – storage and deciding which one to read next was the best I could come up with. Books have been around for a while and the format seems to work. I didn’t really think I could improve on storage and there not really any logic or system I could implement for decision making so I left it.

 

I then got thinking of other peoples problems and with a bit of searching found the following issue.

 

“People with sight problems face a book famine now and for many years to come despite reading being more popular than ever amongst sighted people….The report reveals that over 95 per cent of books are never made available in formats like large print, audio and braille which people with sight problems can 'read'.

 

RNIB estimates that most of the 2 million people in the UK with sight problems cannot read a standard print book, which is usually published in size 10 font.â€

 

Source: Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB).

 

So I began to build my entry around this issue – a simple device to magnify text in a book. 10 point is around 3.8mm tall, to increase the ‘seen’ height of text and provide access to more books is the aim for me.

 

 

Initial ideas were amalgamation of bit pieces to provide a solution – this was a quick way to get ideas down and to try to get a feel for some of the problems that be encountered.

 

This allowed me to form a basic specification this thing should clip to a book (of various sizes) and have the potential to remain in place for the duration of the book read and minimise the amount of interference when using the book and so be integrated into the reading process.

 

 

 

post-7824-1165960518.jpg

 

some scans to gather ideas together

 

post-7824-1165960569.jpg

 

post-7824-1165960882.jpg

 

post-7824-1165960905.jpg

 

and this was all looking slightly awkward

 

 

 

These helped to define further some sort of spec for this thing

 

Main housing to hold the lens to magnify the text over the width of a page, and be approx. 1/3rd page deep . This was a drive to keep the overall size down and make the item easy to transport.

 

So clips on to either the front or back of the book

 

It’s got to rotate out of the way when page turning and to minimise the size of the item I thought it best that it slides over to read the second page.

 

 

Existing products I’ve looked at seem to demand that the reading be done at a desk and I didn’t see why this had to be the case – I like to sit on the sofa to read. I wanted this item to be used with one hand and become part of the reading and page turning for the user.

 

The scans are my rough working sketches and ideas, more details to follow as I fill in some of the gaps.

 

post-7824-1165961173.jpg

 

These last two show the direction I’m heading - I hope to get this into some 3D format to clarify and communicate further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-7824-1165961409.jpg

 

In the meantime all comments welcome.....

post-7824-1165961287.jpg

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Guest cooperkid

Have you worked with a magnifying glass?

 

Magnification works by taking the glass away from the subject! You illustrate the glass is resting on the page which will probably only give a magnification of 0.1%

 

I have just measured with a magnified glass and notice you need to hold it 50mm or more to double the text size! I know glass thickness can make a difference, but too much (like a fisheye) can distort text so it needs to be a comfortable magnification. If you take a look at mobility websites, you will notice that there are already reading devices that you can hang around your neck enabling you to look with object beneath.

 

Look forward to seeing your approach to this problem?

 

Cooperkid

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Guest monkeyboy

Cooperkid, thanks for the comments, below is an image of the style of magnifier I had hoped to use –

 

post-7824-1166018839.jpg

 

A relatively thin magnifier that allows the user to see the whole page and offer a x2 magnification.

 

Now why don’t readers just use this – well they could, but my intention was to have something that didn’t require an extra pair of hands and could be integrated in to reading. Not limit where reading takes place and be small enough not to be cumbersome.

 

You're right it needs to be of the page but not by as much as the eye glass type, I'll add in some stand off to address this.

 

Thanks again

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Guest cooperkid

Its hard to say with your picture I'm still guessing an offset of 50+mm to make it worthwhile! only way to know is to test?

 

Have you done the research? It took me 10 seconds to find this link http://www.youreableshop.co.uk/

 

Unless your going to introduce some wow factor it going to be difficult to improve what is aready available on the market?

 

Cooperkid

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Guest monkeyboy

Thanks again Cooperkid,

 

ok to get some distance this may need some articulation which may lead to some other benefits (or problems) I'll sketch this through to try to get a solution.

 

I've seen the items similar to your link and looking at them they don't really allow someone to just pick up a book and read it without sitting at a desk. The hand held items rely on the user holding this off the page and this could get tiring and the distance may fluctuate.

 

They’ve got their place don’t get me wrong – I wanted to get something together that was dedicated to reading popular books – paperbacks, mass market, new publications. And something that wasn’t too cumbersome and that was could be incorporated into reading and page turning.

 

Now, this wow factor - I hadn't really though too much about wowing, my intention was for something utilitarian but if its a 'wow - that's really useful' then yes that's what I'm aiming for. If you think another sort of wow is required then please expand – really value input here.

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Guest newt @ MWE

hey

 

just a note, in the competitivness of todays market, virtually every product must have a wow factor. the days of the strictly utilitaarian product are pretty much gone as new production technologies have allowed for even the most functional object to be beautifully styled and ergonomic.

 

have a look at what is happening in medical equipment design. this is a field where function is the key and by all means a strictly mechanical and utilitarian design will work. but it iwll not work perfectly as people and companies now reallize the impact the visual can have on the user or consumer. a soft comforting aesthetic attatched to a medical device will be much more appealing, calming, approachable and less scary, a strong benefit when going into a catscan.

 

this is not only the medical market though. cars, housewares, book accesories, pens, office supplies, so on and so on, are all designed with the emotion factor considered now.

 

as far as the useful wow factor you were describing, as cooperkid had said, a new prodcut really has to be beneficial over its predecessor to have the useful wow factor, or as i like to call the "why hasn't this been invented before?" factor. as cooperkid had also pointed out, there are many magnifying products out there, so the key for you to finding a great solution is to point out how your product is different from whats out there and how that difference is beneficial. no offense, but i personally am not seeing the improvment in your prouct over whats availiable. any insights as to how it is?

 

newt

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Another problem I see with your current design is that when you want to increase text, the line length increases as well, and that would mean you would only be able to see part of the line in your currect design.

You could try a digital version that scans and displays text instantaniously, as well as OCR's it to wrap around the text to the shorter line lenght....

That though would put it a bit in the realm of fantasy... well, maybe not, you'd have to do some research on the technology, or make really clear that this is a concept that uses some new technology not yet invented.. not quite sure if that would be cheating.. probably not, since some really smart engineers could probably work that out. It would be best to think of something with proven technology though.

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Guest monkeyboy

Hi Renzsu

 

With the need to lift, and articulate the lens this means that I could bring the lens clear of the edge of the book, thereby giving the ‘oversize’ viewing aperture required to read a full page width.

 

As far as utilising technology goes I’d go on step further - there are devices that will scan and read text back, however these are high cost items.

 

I was looking at a low cost, accessible item. The differentiator would be as follows;

 

If you try to read a book looking through an aperture, smaller than the page width you continually have to adjust the position of the lens left to right. Coupled with this issue is the height from the surface of the text must be maintained to ensure constant magnification. This is quite tiring both on the wrist and eye. I was hoping to address both these issues with my design.

 

The reader would set the device up once by clipping it into place on the cover and then move the lens down the page when reading, and then extend across to the second page and move down. The lens would rotate through 90 degrees to allow the page to turn rotate back over the page and the process begins again.

 

Perhaps this isn’t going to work, or the consensus is that this is not provide any real benefit over what’s already out there, I’m not being defensive – just want to ensure that background and the potential advantage of this was understood.

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Guest monkeyboy

Renzsu, been thinking about your last post and my initial idea over the weekend and I think that you may have something in your scanning suggestion, your thoughts on the following -

 

a device that the user runs over the page and then when you reach the bottom the info is converted to provide an electronic version of the text on a display, the user then gets the option on how it is displayed - text height, font - eliminating the serif’s has got to help, auto scrolling, manual scrolling of the page.

 

the fact that there scanners that are out there that convert from text to 'speach' must mean the technology exist. Pro's over text to speach - cost I'd hope.

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