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The Nano-book

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The Nano-book

Content writers… story tellers… word craftsmen… nano beaders… and the future of content ripples with possibilities and possibilities…

First

M is an avid reader. ‘Bookist’ is what her friends have dubbed her. M reads books ranging from classical mathematics to linguistics all the way to hip-hop poetry and nonsense verse. She also enjoys browsing through the multitude of Bible versions and the latest twist to the multiverse theory; M does not get it completely, but her mind conjures up its own interpretation and imagery (M has an active imagination). And so, she lives a Van Gogh-color-rich life, even as college and its banal routine steamrolls her days and her best years.
Today M stretches on the floor of the metro, and her attention is embedded in the romantic best-seller she has just bought Sun and Love in Cannes. With its vividly designed cover, the book had called out to her in the bookshop that morning. Later, it pretty much jumped into her hand and she simply followed her gut and bought it.

As she flips the page, she beams up a picture and sends it to her girl-friend e-community. In a flash she is rewarded with emoticons that sigh and smile and dance with joy. Obviously the picture is a hit – image of M linking arms with the dark-haired hero of the book she is reading. M sighs… and smiles at her reflection in the glass panel, as the metros hurtles through a tunnel. Today, she is in love with the hero of the book… why, she is in Cannes, far from the humdrum city around her.

Before she reaches the end of her daily metro ride, M has beamed out a whole (cheesy) paragraph, and checked out the Cannes scenery along the beach. Her friends are along with her through it all.

Just as her stop is announced, she shuts her book with a thump, and on a girlish impulse, plants a kiss on the cover – a picture of the dark-haired hero staring at her with his brooding gaze.

M is a girl next door, and her behavior is not uncommon in the future that awaits us, a book in hand and its pages hooked up to a social cloud.

Nano-worlds to solidify an experience

Nanotechnology is pregnant with possibilities of transposing physical experiences into digital spaces, and vice versa.
It is a future where nano materials are meshed with surface engineering – to give us what?… To give us the medium to live and share the physical experience from the book in my hand with my digital communities. It is the irreplaceable physical experience of the story sampled in 3-d digital, complete with texture and the z-axis.

Yes, it is in the realm of the possibilities; it is what our children are going to be comforted with. And yes, they will NOT have to make the choice between e-book and a physical book.

A day in the life of M. She has just bought a copy of the Dostoevsky collectible, ‘Notes from the Underground’ in an aggressive online auction. If ‘happy’ (the word) could have a face, it would be M’s  this afternoon. She finds herself a place in the last metro coach and settled down to devour the Russian Underground man’s ranting. And in the next half hour, her communities are falling in love with Dostoevsky – his quotes, his thoughts, and all of M’s opinions. Social channels – Twittero. Bookish. #Bethere. The next day, booksellers in large swathes of the US and Europe register volume sell-outs of dust-laden Dostoevsky classics.

How does M do it? Nanomaterial-enabled book leaves are worlds hidden in pages, ready to come alive at a touch and a tap. Holographic three-dimensional. Neat. Simple. And seamless. The physical and digital on the same side of the coin, in the page of a book.

Third

Why should digital be the barrier we forgot to tear down for the future nano- natives?

Learning new lessons

Civilizations evolve. Societies grow smarter in waves, and mold technologies out of labs and into their homes, to their whims, the latest fads. Smart societies push boundaries beyond barriers.

Today, the physical book has a digital avatar; it is neater, smarter and packs more power within its virtual covers. We have embraced this new avatar, but as a society, we are reluctant to completely forsake the older perishable physical form. Maybe it is something to do with the ancient tradition of papyrus-knowledge and the sacredness of its pursuit. Maybe it is solace of words with well-recognized  two-dimensional serifs and curves; words in their native form, not back-lit and hiding behind screens.

And so, now our society is (word)pressing technology for its current and vexing need – the need to keep alive the corner bookstore – the family-run ‘Sen & Co’ that all older brothers and sisters visited for new school books every new school year.

Nanotechnology! A little answer. A powerful answer. The nano-book. Creating the perfect experience of a physical book with a digital fingerprint. A mathematics problem in your text book. The problem exhibits its three-dimensional contours in crystal-precise holographic shapes. Work on it. Think about it. Find the solution in an ‘https://’ address. The benzene ring. Open it out. Plug the carbon atoms in other places… discover the new atom.
Go on… It’s knowledge democracy and everyone has a stake in it.

And finally, the best story in the world…

Worth living: The nano story

It is a story that has been in the making for centuries, and through the ages. The perfect story. The caveman started telling it with fierce rock images, then African tribes narrated it around camp-fires and somewhere in other parts of the world, others sang it and danced to it. The story survived the vagaries of time and life. It lived through wars and the plague. It won two world wars, and escaped fascism. Sometimes it drowned in seas, but it always came out the other side, rejuvenated and with renewed vigor. The story lives on. And it is perfect. Well, very nearly so.
Imagine this. M reads a story. She reads it and loves it. And so, she enrolls in the story for a part. And the next afternoon, she experiences her favorite story from the inside. She tastes the fear of the protagonist and feels the pain of love. She roams strange roads and lives a day she never would.

The perfect story belongs to M in a singularly personal way now.The nano-story is lived from the page into projections, and popular culture. It is shared with friends and stretched into dimensions that are fuzzy-real and entirely personal. It is where the future is headed.

To weave a story with and within content is old hat. Content is now nano-content. It is intricate thread work, neat and symmetrical, that adds up to create a superbly crafted whole. Each stitch here needs to be painstakingly embroidered so that the final piece appears effortless – and compels people to look at it, play with it.

Nano-content has nano-interactions beaded into it – those tiny but infinitely meaningful touch points where the user picks up the needle and adds a stitch in his own color and the story becomes his. Imagine the power of the nano-story.

Content writers… story tellers… word craftsmen… nano beaders… and the future of content ripples with possibilities and possibilities…