Platformative Enlightenment: Inkling’s Learning Content

We’re building Inkling not only for textbooks, but for all kinds of learning content. Why learning content in particular? We think it’s the most complex, the most valuable, and the most interesting content to work with. Unfortunately, it’s also the kind of content that suffers most when it’s not treated with care.

Last week we introduced Lights, Camera, Capture: Creative Lighting Techniques for Digital Photographers by Bob Davis. It’s the first title from Wiley on the Inkling platform, and we think it’s a radical departure from what “e-books” have looked like in the past. Like every Inkling title, it does away with the page. It incorporates gorgeous high resolution artwork. And it includes over 100 videos of the author, embedded right next to the photos he’s talking about.

But it’s much more than just a bunch of media squashed into a digital book. Lights, Camera, Capture is a carefully crafted mixture of media. Take, for example, the use of image sequences to illustrate the concept of f-stop on a camera, or the effect of light rotation around a subject. These simulators use SlideLine™, an innovative new feature that lets you scrub through a set of information in a single dimension.

The title also benefits from the powerful technologies that have existed in Inkling since its debut. You can search across the book for concepts and images, you can create notes and highlights, and you’ll even see important terms (like “catchlight” and “AEB“) as interactive Poptips right inside the text.

All of this is available in the standalone version of the application. And if you buy the title inside the Inkling application, it also integrates with the social sharing capacity offered inside our app.

So, it’s a nice title, with a lot of fantastic, interactive media. It’s well written, and has everything from the print title. And the high resolution photography is stunning. That’s great, but it’s not necessarily what’s most interesting.

Inkling is a platform for digital learning content, and titles like Lights, Camera, Capture wouldn’t be economically viable without it. Yes, our publisher partners could choose to build their own software products, and many do with great success. But to create a large volume of digital titles of this caliber with consistency would be immeasurably expensive. In the same way Xbox®, PlayStation®, and Wii® make it possible for game developers to use a set of standards to create interactive experiences, we make it possible for publishers to create their own kind of interactive media. (1)

Our focus will continue to be on large, complex textbooks with beautiful design and large audiences. But we’re going to throw in some cool, interesting general interest titles while we work, because we love how they look on Inkling. And if you and your friends like them enough, we’ll probably do more than we’d originally planned.

On behalf of Bob Davis, Wiley and everyone at Inkling, we hope you love what we’ve created with Lights, Camera, Capture for Inkling. Spread the word.

Notes:
Catchlight: A small dot of white in someone’s eye; gives your model a ‘glint’ in the eye that, while not being natural, often makes a photo look more natural than if omitted.
AEB: Common abbreviation for auto exposure bracketing.
(1) No, we don’t think we’re quite at the level of Xbox. (Yet.) :)

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