Book club: App lets families read together online

20.06.2013 Interactive : Three Billy Goats Gruff : Penguin Digital

UK – Storytime Hangout, a new app from Penguin Digital developed by BBH London, enables interactive storytelling between family members connected on Google+.

The app augments Google Hangout video chat by transposing faces of characters from Ladybird’s Three Billy Goats Gruff story onto those of participants as they scroll through the book’s pages. The effect is a playful, virtual mask-wearing experience that enables parents and children to dress up as their favourite characters. Storytime Hangout gives relatives in different locations a chance to come together in the act of reading.

‘The experience of reading with children is so much more than just the text and the pictures on the page,’ says Penguin Digital managing director Anna Rafferty. ‘It’s the sound effects, the voices and the funny faces pulled when acting out a character that make it magical – and this app does that in a new and exciting way.’

Brands across the spectrum – from digital innovators such as Google and BBH to heritage names such as Penguin – are embracing web-enabled family interactivity, catering for highly creative, technology-savvy Generation I digital natives.

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