Several former Apple employees along with current Apple board member Al Gore have teamed together to launch a new dynamic e-book format. Rather than repackaging digital books as text-based files with simple media files, like those on Amazon’s Kindle platform or through the EPUB format, the new standard that the former Apple team is creating will bring animation, videos, and rich multimedia support.
These books are interactive and will bring many of the features that magazine publishers are bringing to digital magazines, such as the Wired magazine app for the iPad, which will bring added value to the user and a new experience beyond just printed words.
Users can now explore embedded videos, maps, infographics, and other materials within the ebook. Swipe, pinch and zoom, and other gestures will also be supported as detailed by Al Gore’s video guide.
The resulting work will be published as native Cocoa Touch apps. Authors can convert their books and stories into this format and publish them, where hopefully they can be sold through Apple’s App Store.
The project is led by Apple alums Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris. The publishing software could potentially rival Adobe’s efforts in the digital publishing space. Adobe is leveraging its existing professional suite of creative software to allow content creators and publishers to quickly convert their material into an easy to use, interactive format with rich multimedia content.