Housing the command module

One of the biggest challenges in designing a book of the future which incorporates electronics into a printed form is designing in a team that is dispersed across continents. Understanding just how the hardware could be hidden from the view of the reader was a key consideration, not only for the research team but with our printing press.

During one of our video conference calls, Philip sketched out how he understood the command module might be housed in the spine of a hardcover book:

Philip’s sketch of the control module – which housed the bluetooth transmitter – inside the spine of the book © Philip Ely, 2021

We used this sketch to help explain the concept to a couple of printing presses who might be able to create the bespoke printing and binding for such a venture.

In this early stages, we were unclear about what size the book should be. Given it was going to be displayed in an exhibition setting, a larger format seemed a sensible option, although we weren’t sure if we could build the components and design the editorial layout at this large size; we’d need to speak to printing presses to determine the costs of such a large format book.