Readality, as a combination of “read” and “reality”, is a mobile application that using augmented reality technique to enhance the reading experience. This is a two month individual project. During this time, I start from Needfinding, brainstorming to project research, design the product to prototype the final solution. The project won many praise in the NYU IDM showcase. Currently this idea is been presented to the mango concept, a NYC base product company and innovation lab. They are working on the market research and planning to bring this project into the real life.  


The biggest challenge for this project is: How can we find a better way to use AR technique to combine the advantages of both paper book and ebook reading experience and enhance the reading experience. 

In order to understand people's reading pattern, I made a short survay about people's reading habit. One important conclusion is that People’s reading inclination are largely affected by their friends, colleagues and the public’s recommendation. The reason of their choice of reading platform is listed below


1.  It is portable and light. Easy to carry with when traveling.                                                 

2. It is convenient to make notes and highlight information on ebook. People can easily modify or delete the notes they don't want on ebook.


Paper book

1. It is convenient to have multiple books open at the same time and read back and forth. 

2. Most of the paper book reader enjoy the sense of holding a paper book.


The inspiration of this project comes from a book written by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst called S. The book includes a detective story written by a fiction author and hand-written notes in margins and other loose supplementary materials tucked between pages. The notes and materials look like conversations between two college students trying to solve a mystery about the author’s secret history. Adapt this revolutionary reading experience, the project use mobile augmented reality to adding a "removable digital layer" on paper book. When using mobile device to scan the book, people will see relevant information and notes about the book. When moving the devices away, the page return back to a traditional paper book. This allowed user to customize how much technology they expect to get involve with their reading journey. 

Prototype and User testing

Based on the original thoughts and feedbacks from user research, I developed the first paper prototype. The project contains two main section: The cover of the book which serves as a introduction and promotion for the book. The content of the book which could be an information sharing social platform.

Two changes after user testing: 

  • Replace the liked and disliked with a more general 5-star rating system.
  • Change the biography of the author into short comments about the book randomly generated from amazon and goodreads.

To learn more about this project, you can watch the final prototype video: