With the launch and success of the iPad in particular, and the push towards the tablet form factor in general, a lot of people have been discussing the future of the written word. In fact its gotten to the extent that most of the people discussing this subject have all stagnated at around the same vision i.e. interactive images and multimedia intertwined within the words themselves.
IDEO has finally taken the concept to a different level - pushing the boundaries of what we define as possible, and truly bringing an innovative vision into this space. Broadly, IDEO is introducing three concepts
To create a reading experience that allows you to combine the written word with the impact that they have had on popular opinion or debate - alongside additional layers of content so you can dive in as deep as you would like to go.
To create a network where you, your friends and your collegues can easily share and suggest books with one another. You can even follow the reading patterns of a company at whole if you like.
To create an interactive reading experience where you can unlock different parts of a book by accomplishing certain actions - deciphering a secret code, being in a certain location, etc. Characters from the stories can communicate with you via SMS, and you can even contribute to the stories themselves! This allows the reader to "codevelop" the stories and take part in a non linear narrative.
Watch the video for further details. It seems that soon writing a book may involve writing a "script" just like a screenplay or a movie.
The only real problem I have with IDEO is that currently - this is a concept only video - and as far as I can tell, they currently have no plans of pushing such a system into production.