Innovation That Matters

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US book platform gamifies reading

Publishing & Media

The Overdrive reading app rewards reading with video-game inspired badges and awards

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Spotted: US-based Overdrive is using AI and gamification to encourage children to read. The company’s app Sora employs video game-like elements to create an interactive experience for children, including badges and rewards for finishing books. The aim is to make reading more like experiencing the popular game Fortnite or watching Netflix, according to Overdrive.

“I actually had a team studying how Fortnite became so addictive,” co-founder and CEO Steve Potash told Futurism. “This is why with Sora we have badges and achievements, and we’re actually in the school market, creating social. We’re not actually saying ‘pick a reading squad and go kill some books,’ but we’re trying to learn from the addictive nature of interactive gaming.”

The result is a platform that publishers are using to add voiceovers, music and even “choose your own adventure” aspects to ebooks. The company is also working on developing virtual and augmented reality elements to books, like giving teachers the ability to insert quizzes directly onto the pages of a book. Sora is already available for download.

Email: @OverDriveLibs



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