Reminiscent of using sound effects in old radio shows, Google has applied for a patent to enable sounds to enhance eBooks. Here’s more from Google’s press release:
“Trigger point information is generated for an eBook to play sounds in an eBook. A request for trigger point information is received from a client. The eBook is analyzed to determine trigger point information for the eBook. The trigger point information includes location information identifying a location of a trigger point in the eBook. The trigger information also includes sound information indicating a sound to play at the trigger point. The determined trigger point information is transmitted to the client in response to the request for trigger point information. The client is configured to track a user’s reading location in the eBook and play the sound indicated by the sound information responsive to the user reading the eBook at the location of the trigger point.”
Noted advantages are in children’s ebooks, where sound dramatically enhances the reading. The patent also suggests that it would support Text-to-Speech reading, which is particularly important to those readers with sight issues.
Google’s patent application states: “eBooks and eBook readers do not take full advantage of their capabilities to immerse a user. For example, eBook readers often include sound generation capabilities, but eBooks do not use these capabilities to improve the user’s experience.”
Google is hoping to make waves– sound waves and this app would be available to nearly all eReaders. Several other companies, including Apple have similar patents in the works.