London, UK: 15th April 2014 – The first augmented reality interactive book launched by iBO Live last month, is now available to Android users. ‘The French Connection’, the second book in the Jack Hunter series of adventure stories by author Martin King, aimed at 8-13 year olds, incorporates augmented reality gaming technology and now offers young readers and gamers with an Android smartphone or tablet, the opportunity to actively participate in missions and hunt for treasure as they play the game alongside reading the book.
The Android version of the popular app launches in wake of research commissioned by Martin King and iBO Live which found that during the last school half term holidays, more than half of children (57 per cent) aged 8-13 years spent just one hour or less reading. It also discovered that 33 per cent of kids admit spending most of their time playing video games or on a tablet/smartphone. This highlights a growing problem: children simply aren’t reading enough and they would rather be playing games. Authors need to be doing more to engage and excite youngsters.
Powered by an app from interactive book company iBO Live (also available on iOS and free for the first two levels) on a mobile device, users scan the book’s cover and images within the pages and use their device to jump into the pictures to create their own adventure. Children can follow Jack and his friends back in time to 1392 to discover an ancient secret.
Clues are hidden within the book that take the reader to www.jackhuntergames.com, where they can solve extra puzzles to unlock further levels and even find an additional chapter in a secret chamber. Game levels are locked to prevent kids racing ahead in the game further encouraging them to read more in order to play more. Within the game is also a castle builder where participants can make their own battlements using blue prints they find in the game and there are plans to enable direct sharing of creations.
“From the moment readers scan the front cover of the book, every picture hides a clue,” says Martin King. “There are traditional adventure elements and some twists on convention. The hidden-object puzzles require the gyroscopic controls of your mobile device to explore environments in full 360-degree 3D, while the 3D jigsaw pieces not only need to be placed correctly but also orientated into the right position.”
Developers used the Unity 3D engine and Qualcomm Vuforia plug-in to create a deep-gaming experience combining point-and-click adventure elements with hidden-object puzzles and environment puzzles.
“Applying augmented reality to books allows the author to bring things to life and lift the story off the pages for the reader. The phrase ‘getting into a good book’ has never had more meaning,” comments Steve Marshall, lead developer at iBO Live. “Our high-end development methods build augmented reality experiences that quite literally change simple text or pictures into interactive 3D windows. This is one book you definitely can’t judge by its cover.”
The iBO Live version of Jack Hunter The French Connection, is available to buy now at Amazon and selected Waterstones and WHSmith stores. The interactive app is free to download now from Google Play as well as the App Store and is compatible with Android and most Apple devices*.
To see the book in action, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxiWR5j9bQM. If you are interested in reviewing the book or trying it out for yourself, please contact Berkeley PR – 0118 909 0909 / IBO@berkeleypr.co.uk
Notes to editors
*The Jack Hunter interactive app is compatible with Android and Apple devices excluding the iPad 1 and iPhone 3G.
The Jack Hunter app is free to download and for the first two levels. After that, if the user has enjoyed the experience, they are able to upgrade to the full version for £2.99, unlocking a further eleven levels. There are also some in-app purchases available. For more information visit www.jackhuntergames.com
If you are interested in reviewing the Jack Hunter: The French Connection iBO Live book, please do get in touch with Berkeley PR 0118 909 0909 / IBO@berkeleypr.co.uk
This is the second book in the Jack Hunter series.
iBO Live is the company behind the interactive augmented reality books for children. The books allow young readers to experience 360° interactive game environment and unlock an ancient secret by using the latest in augmented reality technology.
After downloading a free app to a mobile device and scanning the front cover, children can create their own adventure, actively participating in missions, solving puzzles, finding treasure and even building their own castle in interactive 3D (i3D).
In February 2014, iBO Live launched Jack Hunter The French Connection, by Martin King, which marks a new beginning for augmented reality books. Augmented reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer generated sensory input such as sound, video or graphics. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing your current perception of reality.
Now, children can be swept away on their own adventures using stunning i3D technology. They can not only read the adventure but star in it too! The book is compatible with Android and most Apple devices, and is aimed at children aged 8 -13.
Jack Hunter The French Connection can be purchased at Waterstones, WHSmiths and Amazon and the app downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.
For more information please visit www.ibolive.com
Jack Hunter The French Connection
Jack Hunter The French Connection, by Martin King, is the first children’s interactive augmented reality book from iBO Live. This is the second book in the popular Jack Hunter series originally inspired by the author’s own adventures.
Twelve year-old Jack Hunter’s life couldn’t get any better. A local celebrity, captain of the school football team and getting ready for his first holiday abroad with best friends, Martin, Holly, BT and Jules.
Suddenly Jack and his friends find themselves caught in the middle of a robbery. Nothing is what it seems. What have Russian gangsters, stolen jewels, historical secrets and a famous movie star all got in common?
Can you solve the riddle of...The French Connection?
 The Jack Hunter app is free to download and for the first two levels. A further eleven levels can then be unlocked for a one off fee of £2.99.