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A quick look at ZooBurst 3D Pop Up Books

May 26, 2010

ZooBurst is a storytelling tool that lets users create web-based 3D pop-up books. The books can be viewed in a browser with the Flash plugin or you can choose to experience them in Augmented Reality: print out a page with a special marker on it, then point your computer’s webcam at the marker and the book pops up.

Version 1.0 was only made available April 13, so there is plenty of room for new developments. They expect to soon release a management feature, for example, allowing teachers to set up classes and passwords for students as well as create assignments. They may also add the ability to incorporate voice. Below is a video overview of how it works at this point:

It tried out ZooBooks with a webcam and found I had to hold the paper marker very steady or the book wobbled a lot, so I hung the paper from a plastic photo frame [see my video below]. ZooBurst produces a neat effect, no doubt, and a cool demonstration of augmented reality. However, I can’t see what I  gained over viewing the book in a browser. I don’t see the practical application – any thoughts out there?

More information:

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Clark permalink*
    May 26, 2010 4:52 pm

    HTML5 is far from being a standard at this point. See

  2. May 26, 2010 3:22 pm

    isn’t flash going obsolete? ehem, html5, ehem….

  3. May 26, 2010 10:51 am

    Right now it’s probably at “this is neat and cool and new and different” stage.

    The key might be when one can create something where instead of the AR book filling your web cam, maybe you place it on the side and there are ways in the real world, you can interact with the AR book.

    For example, if it were a book to teach kids words, the story might prompt them to hold up a named object (“apple”, “book”)? and the viewer is expected to lift something up to the screen? From there I don;t know what, either the book has a key pre-set to match it to, or something else develops code wise where tere can be some logic for the app to know or detect what is in the camera frame.

    The key for this being useful is where the 2 worlds can touch (and do something worthwhile). It’s emergent.

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