Abstract

For students, knowledge workers, and creative professionals alike, the vast tectonic shifts now taking place in the world of publishing, electronic books, device form-factors, and emerging modalities of natural interaction create tremendous opportunity to sunder new realms of innovation from the fabled Pangaea of reading.

These fault-lines are visible everywhere, if only one knows where to look. The moment a serious seeker of knowledge cracks open a book – electronic or otherwise – the fissures in the traditional monolithic view of reading begin to propagate. Multiple books and papers and yellow sticky-notes tile the tabletop like a riotous mosaic of stationary. Highlights emblazon the text and notations crowd the margins. These dedicated knowledge-seekers mark-up articles, tear out pages, and fill notebooks with handwritten insights.

And from this teeming jungle of information, they synthesize and create anew.

Natural ways of interacting with texts – from simple and expressive multi-touch gestures to markup with electronic pens to sensing the subtle motions of devices and their context of use – together promise, with appropriate design, to transform our experience of reading -- and thereby to transform our students and seekers into a newly empowered generation of creative professionals.

This talk will flash a few glimpses of this new world, this e-Creation, and demonstrate some concrete technologies and techniques that illuminate the way forward. It is a many-forked path fraught with design dilemmas and unknowns, but in my view the experience of reading and interacting with electronic information has only yet begun its incredible transformation.

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