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Old 09-04-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Google seeks patent to add "triggered sounds" to e-books

Next time you read Homer's Odyssey, don't be embarrassed if your e-reader suddenly outputs seductive songs, in particular when you're somewhere in the middle of the book where Odysseus approaches the island of the lovely Sirens. Google has applied to patent a system that plays sounds that are associated with a user's reading location within an e-book.

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The above and other issues are addressed by a computer-implemented method, a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium and a computer system for triggering sounds in an eBook. An embodiment of the method includes receiving trigger point information from a client. An eBook is analyzed to determine trigger point information for the eBook. The trigger point information includes information identifying a location of a trigger point in the eBook. The trigger point information also includes sound information indicating a sound to play at the trigger point. The determined trigger point information is transmitted to the client in response to the request for trigger point information. The client is configured to track a user's reading location in the eBook and play the sound indicated by the sound information responsive to the user reading the eBook at the location of the trigger point.
In one variety of the implementation it's the responsibility of a remote "sound server" with a "sound database", which is connected via WiFi or 3G to the reading device, providing sounds in response to specific trigger points. In another implementation, trigger points don't need to be specified individually in every book; rather, a book would receive a unique identifier and a client could access a remote trigger point database to fetch the related sound information.

The concept is simple enough that we wouldn't be surprised to find it in future reading apps.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
DrNefario
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Well, let's hope they get the patent and never let anyone use it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Well, let's hope they get the patent and never let anyone use it.
This. If I want sounds then I can watch a movie. I am perfectly capable of imagining my own sounds thank you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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I can see widespread adoption of this in the romantic genre
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #5
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Well, let's hope they get the patent and never let anyone use it.
lol, +1 to this. I prefer not to be startled by weird sounds.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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I can see widespread adoption of this in the romantic genre
What? The cracking of whips in the BDSM variety?
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:43 AM   #7
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I can predict the upcoming news stories: a subway rider reading "The Godfather" - triggers the sounds of gunfire -- rider is shot by subway police who describe a person holding a dark object in his hands that was firing shots.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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This could actually be fun if used wisely. I remember listening to an Jane Austen audiobook that played a little period music between chapters. It really enhanced the experiance.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:06 AM   #9
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I was surprised at how well the sounds worked for "Operation Ajax" on the iPad – but that's a comic, of course, which is a different reading experience anyway.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNefario View Post
Well, let's hope they get the patent and never let anyone use it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache View Post
This. If I want sounds then I can watch a movie. I am perfectly capable of imagining my own sounds thank you.
Apache
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lol, +1 to this. I prefer not to be startled by weird sounds.
Wow, what a bunch of censorship-encouraging, knowledge-suppressing little dictators we have here. "I don't like it so no one should have it" eh?

How about an "off" option instead.

Or shall we burn the books that teach people how to do it as well as suppressing the IP?
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:26 AM   #11
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Or shall we burn the books that teach people how to do it as well as suppressing the IP?
I love the smell of burning books in the morning. It smells like... victory
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:31 AM   #12
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On the one hand, the industry is trying to develop a method to push sounds to folks who, on the whole, don't want this. On the other, TTS has all but disappeared, and the industry is fighting tooth and nail to avoid having to put sound-based accessible features on their readers.

Yeah.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #13
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This could actually be fun if used wisely. I remember listening to an Jane Austen audiobook that played a little period music between chapters. It really enhanced the experiance.
Listening to Audiobooks, yes. Any extra "low volume" background music and/or sound effects that do not drown out the narrator do help you get into the story. However, this is an already auditory experience.

When I'm reading, I really do not want any noise going on. Sometimes even a loud bird call outside can throw me off when I'm really into a book.

I hope we at least have the option of disabling these if they ever do come out.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:39 AM   #14
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Yet another silly, useless patent.

And why stop at "triggered sounds"? Why not "triggered pictures", "triggered videos", "triggered ads"?

Some people just don't understand the "book" concept.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #15
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If I set my font size small enough I can probaly get the trigger points to happen way before they should and the sounds would actually be a spoiler to the reading.

I'm filing this under: useless.

I also think this one falls apart when we realize that an eBook (flowing text) is really no different than a webpage and background music has been an integral part of personal vanity pages since the mid 90s.

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