Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home library of the future

With ebooks on the rise, paper-based books might largely disappear in the future, especially in people's private libraries. Personal libraries show visitors what kind of books the home owner likes to read and are a status symbol of an educated person. How will the personal home library of the future look like?

Some of my ideas:

  • Book covers (or virtual bookshelves) could be projected on white walls. Touching a virtual book would then automatically load it to an ebook reading device. [Alternatively, augmented reality devices could be used to display a library, but this would have the disadvantage that visitors could not browse through books.]
  • Book dummies made from lightweight material could fill the bookshelves. Book dummies are hollow, foldable boxes in the shape of the original book. They have the book cover, spine, and back of the original book printed on them. Each book dummy contains a chip that stores the ebook (or a QR code that links to the ebook). In case the library owner needs to move, the book dummies could easily be folded and stacked.
On the other hand, public libraries will offer both printed and electronic books. Print-on-demand services can allow printing paper copies of books when needed.

Let me know about your ideas of the library of the future.

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