I can’t remember when I’ve had so much plain and simple fun with a new application. At least it was fun in the beginning. Now, I have a sore neck, probably because I didn’t read the manually fully and just dove in as most people do. You do too, I bet.
I was reading all about the Magic Reader application for the iPad. I was so interested that I just went out and grabbed it.
Magic Reader’s claim to fame is that it’s a reader that controls the flipping of pages by the movement of your head. At present, it supports PDF and ZIP format. I know just the document to test this. I have a BlogBooker of this blog stored on my computer in PDF format. I wonder if I can read it with Magic Reader.
Transferring to the iPad is similar to any applications that shares document from your computer. I open iTunes; select the iPad as my device; select Magic Reader; scroll down to Document Sharing and then click Add to browse my hard drive and find the file that I want to read. A sync between the computer and the iPad and the document is across.
Now when I open Magic Reader, my BlogBooker document is there on the shelf ready to read. So far, so good. I actually had a sneak peak at the manual and the trick to success are three blue stars. Once the document is open, make sure the star at the top right of the screen is lit. Then, watch the very top of the screen for two even smaller stars. When they’re lit, it means that your camera is monitoring your facial movement with the built in camera. This is where I confess that reading the full manual would have been helpful.
I didn’t read about the blue star part and I’m sitting in my chair flipping my head around trying to get it to work. My wife and the dog are staring wondering what on earth I’m doing. It’s quite evident I don’t as nothing was happening. I was wondering, given the timing, if I’d been sucked in to some April Fool joke. But, a quick read of the seven page guide clearly explains the importance of the stars and the turning blue part!
It makes all the difference in the world. Activating the stars and waiting until the top ones turn blue let you indeed flip the page with a turn of your head.
But, you need to make sure that the stars on top are blue. Otherwise, it’s pointless head turning. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing; flipping your head when the program isn’t ready or flipping and returning your head back to the front just as the lights come on and you flip the page in the opposite direction!
It was fun playing with Magic Reader. It takes the concepts of gestures to a new level. The authors indicate that only a couple of actions are available at this time. That would imply to me that there is more under development. Winking, smiling, frowning perhaps?
It was an interesting experience. My neck hurts. I’m not sure that I’d be a full-time adopter of it at this time. I’m not a real user of the gestures in general that are already present but I know that there are many who are. Perhaps this will be more appealing with more functions built into it. I’m sure that the concept is bound to be replicated by others. It could be that your favourite news reader or game incorporates or licenses the technology for inclusion in their product. My immediate first thought would be that musicians could use this for their sheet music. Imagine turning the page without your fingers!
In the meantime, download it and give it a try. If you’re looking for something completely different, you’ll like this.