I'm thrilled to announce that the first version of the ZooBurst iPad app is now publicly available! Our iPad app is designed compliment our web based storytelling community and help you view your stories "on the go."
Version 1.0 of the ZooBurst iPad app contains the following features:
Book Viewer:The new ZooBurst iPad app lets you view any 3D pop-up book in either "Screen" or "Camera" mode. In "Screen" mode you can rotate around your book by touching and dragging the screen using your finger. Tapping on a character with a floating "exclamation point" symbol will display any text or sound associated with that item. You can also navigate from page to page using the arrow buttons on either side of the book.
You can also switch to "Camera" mode by clicking on the "Camera" button at the top of the screen. In Camera mode the forward-facing camera on your iPad will turn on and you can point your device at a printed black and white ZooBurst symbol. When the ZooBurst viewer recognizes the symbol you will see your book appear on top of it. A PDF version of this symbol is available here.
My Books: Existing ZooBurst members can log in and view any of their own 3D Pop-Up Books by tapping on the My Books button on the app main menu. Note that version 1.0 of our iPad app only supports viewing your books, but stay tuned for an iPad version of our popular 3D book builder!
Gallery:The ZooBurst Gallery showcases some of the amazing stories that have been brought to life by members of the ZooBurst community. Simply tap on the "Gallery" button on the main menu to explore stories that have been created by students and teachers from around the world.
Story Codes: A ZooBurst “Story Code” is a special printed symbol that identifies a ZooBurst book, much like how a barcode uniquely identifies a product in a grocery store. You can use the “Story Code” button to “scan” for stories that have been attached to physical objects. Here's an example "Story Code" - notice how the symbol is a little different than a regular ZooBurst symbol due to the black and white pattern surrounding the ZB logo:
Once you find one of these symbols just tap on the "Story Code" button in the iPad app and point your camera at the code. In a moment you will see the book that is associated with that code appear on the screen.
"Story Codes" are unique to a particular book, which means that teachers can use this new technology to bring "virtual" life to physical objects. For example, a teacher could have his or her students create a ZooBurst book about "Hamlet" and then use a "Story Code" to attach their work to a class bulletin board. Whenever anyone with the ZooBurst iPad app "scans" the code your work will immediately appear on their screen!
You can download and print a sample Story Code by clicking here or by clicking on the "Story Codes" link at the top of the screen. Premium ZooBurst members can print out a "Story Code" for any of their books by logging into the ZooBurst website, clicking "My Books" and then on the "Story Code" option next to a book. Teachers can also print out "Story Codes" for books created by their students. For more information visit www.zooburst.com and click on the "Story Codes" link.
We're extremely excited to see how people will begin to use our new iPad app. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch!
Over the last few months many of you have been asking us if we would be developing a mobile version of ZooBurst, and as of today we are pleased to announce that the first ZooBurst app is on its way!
The "ZooBurst Viewer" app will be available on the iTunes App Store for iPad users by late Spring / early Summer of 2012. This version will contain the following features:
View Your Books: Want to take your books with you? Simply sign into the ZooBurst Viewer app to instantly access all of the books in your "My Books" library. Books can be viewed in "Screen" mode as well as in Augmented Reality mode using a ZooBurst "ZB" symbol and your iPad's built in camera
Story Codes & "Scan" Mode: "Story Codes" are a brand new feature that will allow premium members to print out a special printed symbol that can be attached to any real-world item. This symbol then becomes a physical "link" to your book, allowing you as a teacher or student to place your story into the "real world." For example, say you have a book that you'd like to associate with a bulletin board in your classroom. Simply print out a story code for that book and paste it onto the wall. When someone with the ZooBurst app points his or her camera at the code it will automatically be recognized and your book will appear to fly right out of the bulletin board!
Access the Public Gallery: The ZooBurst Viewer app will also let you explore any of the hundreds of books available in the in the public ZooBurst Gallery.
For more information check out the "sneak peek" video below - enjoy!
We've been busy here at ZooBurst HQ cooking up some new features based on suggestions we've received from the community. Here a few new tools that are now available to premium users:
Copying Books: We've expanded our Copy Book tool so that you can now make duplicate copies of books and place them in your personal book library the library of any of your student accounts. To get started simply click on the My Books button and then click the Copy Book link next to the book you'd like to copy. You can also visit any of your student accounts and click on the Manage Student Books button to copy a student created book.
Moving Books: You can now move books to and from student accounts using the new 'Move Book' tool. Just click on the 'Move Book' link next to any book and follow the instructions that appear. Books moved into a student account will assume the privacy levels in place for that class, and books moved out of a student account into your own personal book library will become private (though you can change this once the move is complete)
Combining Books: We've also released a new tool that lets you combine two ZooBurst books, giving you and your students the ability to work independently on a project and then combine your work when finished. To use the tool simply visit your book library (or the book library of any of your students) and click the new 'Combine Book' link next to any book.
We're also hard at work at developing the first version of a ZooBurst mobile application. Stay tuned for updates!
I hope that everyone is enjoying the end of the summer season. Here's what we've been up to here at ZooBurst HQ:
School Licenses: We've made it easier for schools to purchase and manage multiple ZooBurst premium licenses on behalf of their staff. School that purchase licenses in bulk are eligible for a significant discount ($29.99 per year per teacher as opposed to our regular price of $49.99 per year.) To get started simply click on the new 'Manage School Licenses' link on your ZooBurst welcome page -- from here you can request a quote, view your existing licenses and print "handouts" that can be used by your staff to upgrade their accounts. For more information about ZooBurst premium accounts please visit our Pricing page.
New Website: As you've probably noticed, we completely redesigned the ZooBurt website based on suggestions we've received from the community. We are also planning on adding a new "Teacher Center" to the site in the coming months - stay tuned for details!
41,000 users!: The ZooBurst community is now 41,000 members strong! In addition, teachers have created over 14,000 student accounts over the past year.
New Feature - Class Media (premium members): Our new "class media" system lets teachers maintain a shared collection of images that can be used by their students when building a book. Teachers can upload any number of images from their computer into this shared repository by clicking on the 'Class Media' button on the 'Classes' page in ZooBurst. Students can then click the new 'Class Media' button while using the ZooBurst builder to access and use these pictures in their own projects.
New Feature - Audio Comments (premium members): Audio comments let you and your students use your voice when leaving comments on books created inside of ZooBurst. Just click the new "Audio Comment" button when viewing a book to get started! Here's a sample to audio comment:
New Feature - Uploadable Audio (premium members): In addition to being able to record audio and search the ZooBurst sound effects library, Premium members can now upload MP3 file directly into their books.
New Feature - Drawing Tool (premium members): We've released their first version of a drawing tool that lets you easily create your own characters for your books. Premium members can click on the new 'Draw a new picture' button inside the ZooBurst builder to get started. Here's a quick demo video that shows this tool in action:
And, as always, we're working on some exciting new ZooBurst features that will become available over the coming months. One of my favorites is a prototype system to allow you to take your ZooBurst stories and experience them on a mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Android Device, etc). Here's a sneak peek at what we've been working on!
Easily construct a mobile augmented reality experience using the ZooBurst book builder.
Place a tracking marker somewhere in the "real world" that will be used to tie your ZooBurst books to that place -- in the image below I've placed a marker on the side of my refrigerator. In the future we hope to be able to support the creation of your own customized markers as well.
Launch the Junaio app on your mobile device and point it at your tracking marker -- a series of doors will appear. Each door corresponds to a different ZooBurst book that you've created.
Tapping on a doorway will bring up the selected experience. Note that almost all ZooBurst features work on a mobile device, including "chat bubbles" and sound recordings.
ZooBurst is named as a top Website for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians!
We are thrilled to announce that ZooBurst has been named one of the top Websites for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians! For more information about the award please visit the AASL press release.
Hi everyone! Here's a quick update on what we're working on here at ZooBurst Central.
Our community has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few months -- as of today we have over 38,000 registered users and over 12,000 students using ZooBurst!
New feature - Book Categories (premium members): Teachers who are using the 'Classes' area of ZooBurst can now easily organize student books into categories, letting you easily view and manage books that are associated with a particular project or assignment. Books that are organized in this way can be viewed in their own private book gallery, allowing you to easily share and present student work.
New feature - Revision History (premium members): ZooBurst will now make a backup copy of your books every time you click the 'Save' button in the book builder. Premium members can "roll back" their books to a previous version at any time by clicking the 'Revision History' link at the bottom of the Book Builder page.
New feature - Book Copy Feature (premium members): You can now easily make duplicate copies of your books by using the new 'Copy' button on the Book Library page. You can also copy books from your own library into any of your student's libraries, allowing you to create "template" books that can be used for specific projects.
In addition, we are also working on the following new features which will become available over the next month:
Audio Comments: We're enhancing the book commenting and discussion features of ZooBurst by adding a new 'Audio Comment' feature. Once enabled, this feature will allow you to simply "speak" your comments into your computer's microphone and add your voice to the discussion.
Class Media: Many teachers have asked for a "sharable" class media tool that makes it easy to manage a common set of images for a particular class. Our new Class Media feature is designed to do just that, and will let teachers upload collections of images to a shared space. This will help streaming the book building process, as students will no longer need to individually upload pictures and photographs if they already exist within your Class Media library.
Hi everyone! It's been a busy few months here in ZooBurst land! We've been working on a number of new features for the system, including:
Full-screen mode: You can now view your ZooBurst books in "full screen mode" - simply click on the new 'Full Screen' button at the top right side of any book to check it out.
Enhanced sharing module: We've expanded the 'Share' button on the book viewer to make it easier for you to share your ZooBurst creations with your friends and family. The Share button now allows you to send e-mail messages that come pre-loaded with a link to your book. Messages sent in this way can also include a copy of your book's password (if your book is password protected)
Easier gesture control: We've upgraded the gesture control feature in the ZooBurst book viewer to make it easier to detect when you are waving your hands in front of a book.
Downloadable books (premium members only): Premium members can now download permanent copies of their ZooBurst books to their Mac or PC computers. Once a book has been downloaded it no longer requires an active connection to the Internet, and retains all book features, including sounds, augmented reality mode and gesture control. You can get started by clicking on your 'Books' link at the top of the screen and then on the new 'Download Book' button. Teachers can also download books created by their students -- simply click on a student in your class and locate the 'Manage Student Books' button to begin.
Student Username Handouts (premium members only): Premium members can now print out handouts that contain the usernames and passwords for all students included in their classes. Teachers can choose to print multiple types of handouts, including a detailed instruction sheet that contains an augmented reality marker for each student as well as a series of smaller, "quick start" handouts. To get started just click on the Classes link at the top of the screen -- from there click on the Students button and then on the new 'Print Student Info' button.
18,000 Members: We've reached a new milestone with over 18,000 registered members! Thanks to everyone for spreading the word about ZooBurst!
In addition, we were also extremely excited to be invited to install a ZooBurst station at this year's PULSE Art+Technology Festival at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia. For this exhibit we created an augmented reality pop-up version of an early twentieth century children's book, The Mythological Zoo, by Oliver Herford. Visitors from across the USA stopped by and played with our interactive kiosk that lets users control the book using either gestures or a printed augmented reality marker. Here are a few photos from the event!
Snowglobes are a new ZooBurst feature that let you and your students construct animated winter scenes for the holiday season. Available to premium members only, Snowglobes let you arrange characters inside a virtual winter wonderland complete with a festive holiday soundtrack. In addition, Snowglobes are designed to be shared and come with a printable "tag" that can be attached to any "physical" greeting card or arts-and-crafts project that you or your students create.
Check out our example Snowglobe below - make sure to click on Webcam mode to view it in Augmented Reality!
And here's a quick video that describes ZooBurst Snowglobes in more detail:
There's a lot of other exciting news here at ZooBurst central in addition to our new Snowglobe feature, including:
12,000 Members: We've been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few weeks! Today we reached another milestone and welcomed the 12,000th member to our community!
Sharable Books: All ZooBurst books can now be "shared" via e-mail - simply view a book and click the 'Share' button to send a copy of that book to any e-mail address. Note that you need to be logged into ZooBurst in order to use this feature.
Hi everyone! I just wanted to give you all a quick update about some recent developments here at ZooBurst Central. We've been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few weeks and we have some exciting new projects in the works. I'd like to offer a special thanks to everyone who has written in with suggestions on how to improve the site - we take these very seriously, and almost all of the items outlined below come from feedback that you've sent us over the past few weeks.
Without further ado, here's what's going on in ZooBurst land!
9,000 Members: As of today our community has over 9,000 registered members from over 40 countries! Check out the ZooBurst Gallery for a sneak-peek at some of the amazing projects being created right now. And speaking of the Gallery ....
New Gallery: We've introduced a new version of the ZooBurst gallery that makes it easier for you to check out books created by other members of the ZooBurst community - just click on the 'Gallery' link at the top of any ZooBurst page to check it out. If you'd like to include one of your own books in the Gallery simply click the 'Add to Gallery' button on your 'Book Library' page.
Enhanced student book management: We've added some new features that make it easier for premium members to manage books created by their students. Premium members can now directly edit any content created by a student in his or her class by simply clicking on the new "manage student books" button.
Updated gesture control: We've made some improvements to how the ZooBurst viewer handles gestures. You should notice that it's easier to control page turns by waving your hands back and forth when viewing a book in Augmented Reality. To get started simply open up a book, click on 'Webcam Mode' and then on the 'Always on Screen' button. Your book should fly down from the top of the screen - from here just wave your hands back and forth and watch as your book turns from page to page!
And there's more to come! We have a number of new features due out very soon, including some special surprises for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned!
We are happy to announce that "Premium" ZooBurst accounts are now available! Premium accounts are designed for teachers and individual users who want to access advanced book building features and form their own collaborative digital storytelling communities. Here's a quick summary of everything that premium members can do:
Classroom management mode: Premium members can create virtual ZooBurst "classrooms" that can be used to easily manage student projects. Class visibility can be set to public, private or password protected, and teachers have full control over what can and can't be seen within their classes at all times.
Student accounts: Premium members can create and manage up to 250 student accounts. These accounts allow students to log into ZooBurst without having to provide any personal information .
Unlimited books: Premium account holders and their students can create an unlimited number of books, and each book can be up to 50 pages long.
Ad-Free Browsing: While logged into ZooBurst, both premium account holders and their students will no longer see advertisements on any ZooBurst book page.
Voice recording: Premium members can record their own voice and have their
characters actually "speak." Adding audio is as easy as plugging in a microphone and clicking on the 'Record Sound' button that appears when using the online book builder.
Sound effects: Don't feel like recording your own sounds? Premium members can search through a library of over 3,000 sound effects that can be applied to any character within a book.
In addition, Premium members will have access to new ZooBurst features as they become available. Here are some exciting new tools and toys that we are working on right now!
Downloadable Books: No Internet connection? No problem! Download any book created by you or your students and make a permanent copy that can be used offline. Downloadable books will run on both Macs and PCs, and will work just like web-based ZooBurst books -- including an offline Augmented Reality mode! (Coming in November 2010)
Non-linear stories: Create "choose your own adventure" style pop-up books that let you and your students create truly interactive storytelling experiences. Students will be able to create complex branching narratives that invite readers to become active participants in the storytelling process. (Coming Soon!)
Augmented Reality Authoring: Imagine being able to hold up hand-drawn artwork to your webcam and watch as it "peels" off of the page and flies into your ZooBurst book! (Coming Soon!)
I'm happy to announce that ZooBurst 2.0 is now online! This new version contains a number of new features that came directly from suggestions from the community. Here are some highlights of this new version:
Multiple backgroundsYou can now create a unique background for each page of your ZooBurst book, letting you select the ground, horizon and sky colors as well as any graphics you wish to display on each page. This feature is designed to enhance the storytelling capabilities of ZooBurst. Imagine the possibilities of being able to make your book "world" go dark when your characters enter a spooky cave, or turn completely blue with fish swimming around when you want to take your readers underwater!
Faster page loadsWe've designed ZooBurst 2.0 from the ground up to be faster and more responsive. You should notice that the site is more responsive when both building and viewing books.
Premium Accounts and Classroom ManagementPremium accounts and the much anticipated "classroom management" feature will be coming online within the next week or so. Premium members will be able to take advantage of a number of new features, including recording sounds directly into your book, a searchable sound effects library, unlimited books per account, expanded number of pages per book and the ability to create "classes" within ZooBurst for up to 250 students.
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us using the 'Contact Us' page below. Thanks again for using ZooBurst!