If the pen can be mightier than the sword, can a bookmark be mightier than Amazon? Bow Software Ltd in the UK thinks so. Using NFC technology, Charlotte Quickenden’s firm has committed “digital metonymy”: a bookmark that delivers the book.
A PhysiDigi Bookmark is a physical form which acts as a digital trigger to download an ebook. A PhysiDigi Bookmark has value, the value of the ebook that it opens for you to read. Therefore if you want to buy it, you purchase the ebook just as you would any other book by exchanging money with the vendor be that bookshop, venue or exhibition. The ebook is then yours. You own it, this is not an ebook lease controlled by DRM. If it’s a good ebook you can lend it, or, if it was a present you can wrap it and gift it. This physical digital thing is tactile, it has visual appeal, and through the act of acquiring it you will naturally have a closer connection to it than a box that you tapped ‘install’. Charlotte Quickenden, MD, Bow Software Ltd., via Bookshops of the Future: Where Physical and Digital Co-exist.
NFC (Near Field Communication) is the wireless transmission of data from a hardware device to another physical object within 10 centimeters of the device. Both must have embedded NFC chips and antennas. Quickenden hopes that her bookmarks with embedded NFC chips and antennas will level the playing field for bookstores, which for some publishers have fallen to less than 10% as a source of sales. Listen to Quickenden describe the PhysiDigi bookmark and watch it in action.