The original aim of this investigation was to display virtual images of books on a wall and to be able to call up the full text of any one of them to read. The two ends of this objective – display of a virtual bookshelf, and the ability to read the full text of any of the books – have been achieved. However, the integration of the two ends is, as yet, a manual process requiring the user to choose a title from the virtual display, to open up the iPad SideBooks application, and to find and open the required title.
I’ve briefly thought about a variety of ways that this process might be automated. The original notion was to use e-Paper and to be able to touch the image of a book spine to bring up the full text on a separate screen. In the absence of e-Paper, I toyed with the notion of using Image recognition via an iPhone App, but I couldn’t find an App that would use the text recognised to open up another application. I then started thinking about voice recognition and tried out the Apple Siri voice recognition facility on the iPad. Frustratingly, although it will very effectively open up the Sidebooks application just by the user saying “SideBooks”, Siri is not yet able to search for and open up files within applications. This was confirmed to me by an Apple Chat support person – though he did advise me that I should inform Apple of my requirement via a Feedback form, which I duly did.
That’s as far as I’ve got. Voice recognition does seem to be the most promising approach – and I guess it’s quite possible that Apple may enhance Siri to call up files, sometime in the future. In the meantime, I expect I’ll be able to just about get by in manual mode!