Peter Rabbit is to be brought to virtual life via augmented reality app Bookful, launched by Israeli immersive content company Inception. Inception’s goal is to provide ways for children to connect with books in new ways, bringing reading into screen time.
Penguin Random House is the strategic launch partner of a range of titles that can be downloaded from the app, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, all by Beatrix Potter. In addition, the app features DK Children’s Encyclopedia; and two Step-into-Reading titles Dinosaur Days by Joyce Milton, illustrated by Franco Tempesta, and S-s-snakes by Lucille Recht Penner, illustrated by Peter Barrett.
Each book featured in the app will have both “read” and “play” modes--”read” features an e-book version of the book featuring illustrations that come to life throughout the book; “play” features activities where children can interact with characters from the book in activities tied to the story, allowing readers to have deeper connections to the book.
In addition to Penguin Random House, Inception is developing relationships with authors and publishers throughout the world to create augmented reality experiences for timeless classic books, new releases, and educational material. The company is one of five finalists in The Bookseller’s BookTech of the Year pitch-off, due to take place at FutureBook Live 2018.
"We're starting with children's books, and working to encourage children to read more by bringing books into screen time, and making reading more engaging for those who find it a challenge," c.e.o Benny Arbel told The Bookseller.
“Bringing books to life through augmented reality provides opportunities to create lifelong readers. We are proud to be partnering with Penguin Random House to work on such iconic books as Peter Rabbit, educational titles such as encyclopedias and early readers, and more titles to entertain, educate, and delight both children and parents alike.”
Bookful's parent company, Inception, has created VR and AR experiences for brands around the world such as Conde Nast, Universal, Grey Goose Vodka and Andrew Lloyd Weber's Really Useful Group. The team, with offices in Tel Aviv, London and New York, is made up of technology and creative veterans including Arbel, a serial entrepreneur with a background in the content industry; c.m.o. Dana Porter Rubinshtein, who has previously led marketing and strategy for Microsoft in Israel and Amdocs globally; and Effi Wizen, founder of Gravity Studios and visual effects specialist.
Peter Rabbit was published by Frederick Warne & Co in 1903, and PRH owns the trademark rights to the Beatrix Potter characters, which have now appeared in TV series, and most recently the feature film "Peter Rabbit", produced by Sony Pictures. It made $351m worldwide in boxoffice takings, despite mixed reviews.