By Jim Milliot | May 19, 2017 (Publishers Weekly)
After building a career heading the remainder and bargain book company US Media Partners, Albert Haug found himself looking for a way to make books, especially children’s books, more exciting in the digital era. After exploring various options, Haug hit on augmented reality and launched Tigra Live Animation in 2016. With offices in the U.S. and Europe, Tigra’s goal is to bring AR applications to products like toys, stationery, and books.
After finding initial success in the toy industry, Haug is now focused on book publishing and will be launching what he calls Tigra’s 4D Magic (a name he trademarked) at BookExpo.
The AR process is centered around a customized app that Tigra will develop. Tigra can animate any number of pages a book a publisher may want “and bring them to life with any of our numerous features available.”
To make it easy to use for readers, Tigra, which now has 50 employees, developed a two-step process. Readers first download a publisher’s custom-made AR app. They then scan the front cover of their book to download all the animated pages within it. To bring the animation to life, readers point their smartphone at the designated pages.
Haug said Tigra’s approach keeps the reading experience in the forefront with the 3D animation adding additional value. In addition to bringing a new element to the reading experience, Haug believes using 4D Magic is “a great way to give new life to old books.”
Haug is hopeful the success Tigra has found in other industries will translate to books. He has used his contacts from US Media to approach publishers about AR and expects to sign some deals at BookExpo.