HistoryofScience.com Blog

Friday, June 4, 2010

Probably the First Fully Visually Satisfying Interactive eBook

For some time I have been wondering when ebooks would begin to look as good as finely designed and printed books, and when they would also incorporate interactive features impossible in static printed books. This finally happened in April 2010 when Theodore Gray, co-founder of Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica, as well as a Popular Science columnist (Gray Matter), and element collector, issued the ebook version of his 2009 printed book, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, for the Apple iPad.

Gray's ebook may be the first interactive book to take full advantage of the features of the iPad, including splendid high resolution color graphics, the ability to rotate objects, the ability to visualize objects in 3-dimensions using inexpensive 3-D glasses, and full connectivity to the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine for additional data.

Gray discusses the features, design, and production of the ebook, The Elements: A Visual Exploration, in a video you can view at this link:

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