The Legend of Ponnivala has teamed up with Digital Maxim to break new ground. Introducing their new interactive ebooks for iPad, the team hopes to create a new bar for interactivity in ebook design and implementation.
Over the past year, Digital Maxim has been working on developing a proprietary software set that will enable future editions of other books to possess the same level of interactivity.
For their part, the team at the Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada, which publishes The Legend of Ponnivala comics and graphic novels, is excited to be the first to test this innovative new technology.
While there are certain elements that readers can expect from standard ebooks, The Legend of Ponnivala goes into much more exciting territory with its interactive editions. For example, all ebooks should have scalable page and text size, as well as smooth page transitions as the reader progresses through the book.
The Legend of Ponnivala interactive ebooks do these things as well. But that’s where the similarities end. Each book is fully narrated, with the English edition voiced by professional voice actor Sumit Bhatia, who provides dozens of lively character voices to match the colourful images. The reading includes an internal volume control, separate from the iPad’s controls, and the narration can also be switched off for traditional reading.
To accompany the narration, each line of text is highlighted as it’s being read. This combination of narration and highlighting provides a great benefit to early readers and those learning pronunciation in either English or Tamil, as it offers an enhanced read-along experience. Attached to this is the ability to tap on different balloons on the comic page to either skip ahead or back in the reading, enabling readers a chance to repeat texts they may have missed.
Page turning is another innovative feature of the interactive editions. This feature can be set to automatically turn pages as the narration moves forward, or switched off so the reader can turn the page manually. This enables readers to put the book down for a few minutes, or to sit back and enjoy the whole story.
Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the new Legend of Ponnivala interactive ebooks is the embedded video feature. Each book has about ten video icons embedded in the comic layout. With a tap, the video springs to life with a clip from the original animated series. Videos can be resized to play full-screen, and can be controlled from within the player itself.
The goal was to create an immersive interactive ebook experience that could be enjoyed as a learning tool, a traditional ebook, and as a unique piece of entertainment technology.
The first series will be available in thirteen chapters soon, in both English and Tamil. The first chapter is already available online through the Apple iBookstore. More information, as well as information on how to access the Tamil edition (Tamil isn’t available as an iBooks publishing language yet), visit www.ponnivalamarket.com/interactive.