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Maker Faire Brings Out eBook Inventions

This past weekend, Make Magazine’s Maker Faire visited New York City. Among a life sized “Mouse Trap” board game, a performance of Mentos exploding Coke bottles and Rubix cube-solving robots, there were a couple of book related innovations.

The Book Liberator is a homemade book scanner that uses two cameras within a cube structure to scan a print book. The photos are saved as image files, which can then be formatted into an eBook format using software called Djuvubind and Scantailor.

Here is more from the Book Liberator blog: “Djuvubind takes all of those individual images, stitches them together, and compresses that into a very tiny book in the djvu format. I have 1400 page academic books that are now pleasantly readable 10 MB files thanks to this combination of Scantailor and Djvubind…. For each of those 1400 page books all I had to do was 1) rotate the first two pages, 2) hit “Go” for auto crop, 3) draw a box around the few pictures so that their full resolution would be preserved in the final output, 4) run djvubind.”

Another book related project at the Maker Faire was called “BYOB” aka “Bring Your Own Books,” which makes interactive art out of throwing print books. To play, you throw a print book at a blank projection of light on the wall. When the book hits the lighted panel, letters come falling from the projection. Check out this video to see how it works. Kids at the fair were lined up for the action.

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