Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, etc. It is not a term you typically hear in the world of publishing. Fortune magazine brought this interesting topic to our attention in their article, “Book publishers try writing a new chapter with the help of tech.”

With the help of augmented reality, shoppers can now use their smartphones to scan book covers to see the images come “alive”. Other technology being used is visual heat maps, which let book marketers see what readers focus on when looking at book covers and marketing materials so designers can create more impactful images. Let’s not forget artificial intelligence (AI), which is in every part of our lives, but in publishing is being used to let publishers predict book sales.

French publisher Hachette Livre has a team adapting titles for Alexa smart speakers and other audio services that let children choose their own adventures by speaking a wish out loud. Her team is also using machine learning to track and identify future design trends. Another “tagging factory” in France crunches data about the contents of Hachette books to improve the metadata around titles to make them appear more often in online search results to increase sales.

Just another example of using information science and technology in new ways to enhance experiences.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.