First Look: Pop-Up Kids’ Books On iPad

Among the many publications that manifest on tablets in old form, many e-books attempt to resemble books – but many others eschew tradition to create an entirely new experience.

Whilst Penguin Books’ interactive iPad visions fall in to the latter camp, new technology from an Irish company attempts to present old media on the new gadget, in a way that both takes advantage of the screen and retains a respect for the printed form.

Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin is a pop-up version of the fairy tale, coming in app form later in September to iPad and iPhone, made by Ideal Binary.

The Dublin-based developer has made it using software it’s trademarked and is calling Pop-Iris. Based on its earlier 3D Bookstore iPhone app, which replicates books in, well, book-form on the handset, Pop-Iris again redeploys the book metaphor in tablet space, but adds pop-up bells and whistles in a Little Big Planet-style cartoon aesthetic.

Ideal Binary has taken a small amount of funding from Other Ventures, a VC house set up by mobile veteran Barry O’Neill, who recently left Bandi Namco as European president and who is now Ideal Binary’s chairman.

The effect is to retain the primacy of the book as medium. But, of course, this is an illusion – and it’s going to be interesting to see whether today’s generation of toddlers will really go back to linear books after engaging with things like this.