Augmented Reality Apps Replace CDs For Textbooks

Living in a world where everything is being digitalized and technology is slowly becoming  part of every aspect in our lives, we started to get comfortable with all the conveniences technology can give us, and slowly we have abandoned the “old ways” of doing things. We are used to having almost everything one click away from us and we got used to all kinds of smart technologies in our everyday lives. Technology has caused a disruption in many industries and those of them failing to adapt are slowly diminishing from the market. In this article, we are going to discuss how technology is going to replace the CDs released for textbooks, and we strongly believe that the publishing industry can benefit a lot by adapting to the technological changes.

CDs have slowly become similar to the gramophone records – almost nobody uses them, besides the collectors. Would you buy a CD nowadays when you have options like Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix and so on – you could listen and watch anything you want online, for a monthly subscription fee  which costs less than one CD? And would you buy a CD when you can store everything on your laptop and smartphone, which is far more convenient? Your answer will most probably be negative.

Despite that, a lot of textbooks still come with CDs, which is an issue for a lot of customers for they have nowhere to listen to these CDs any more. Laptops are no longer designed with a CD drive, fewer and fewer people have any CD device at home, where they can actually play that CD.

Publishers have realized this issue and many of them have started to look for an alternative to CDs and are turning to technological companies for help. Having in mind that most of the human population is almost constantly on their smartphones is there anything better  than reading the content of the textbooks directly on their smartphones? This is a simple and convenient solution, enabling customers to have access to the content of any book they wish on their smartphones all the time. And another advantage is that now they cannot lose the CD or damage it, which were problems related to the CDs.

Publishers have agreed that technology has the potential to combine the best aspects of both the digital and the printing methods. The benefits of using Augmented Reality (AR) for books and textbooks are not only that they will replace the CDs and be more convenient to customers. AR hooks the reader and enriches their experience in a way a normal book could not. Especially for children, who have been growing up constantly interacting with screens and digital content, technologies such as AR have become a way for publishers to reach the young generation and to make studying a whole new level of experience. By bringing the pages of the textbooks to life, students are now able to interact with their textbooks in a different way and to be more engaged with their studying. They will not just read their textbook, they will experience it. Now publishers have the potential to make the reading part more fun, more engaging and more interesting.

Тhroughout the years, we have gained serious experience with using and integrating augmented reality, and according to our CEO, Vicho Dimitrov, this would be the future for the active engagement of children in schools. Augmented reality has the potential to enrich the usually boring and difficult to be remembered content in textbooks. Children nowadays are used to staying on their mobile phones all the time anyway and generally it is quite difficult for teachers to make them focus in class and not use their smartphones. Augmented reality used in textbooks will provide a more modern and “digital” environment for studying, and students will use their mobile devices in class for something meaningful. AR is also said to improve children’s literacy, as it leads to better learning outcomes –  augmented reality uses multimodal learning, or in other words, the child will be using more than one sense of their brain to learn.

And that is how our idea was born – first, we wanted to replace the inconvenience of using a CD and second, we wanted to make the whole experience of the reader more interesting and engaging. scanAR is an augmented reality platform, enabling businesses to advertise and promote via implemented 2D and 3D digital content in any type of traditional printed communication media. The application can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play Store.  We have developed additional white label version for all publishing companies to the already existing app scanAR. We could provide to you this app version only upon your request. We have also been working on a desktop and a tablet version, as we do not want to restrict users  to a mobile app only.

Our idea is to have that content, which will usually be on a CD, in the scanAR app, so that the users will be able to have access to that content anytime they want to. Getting the content will be simple – the user will just have to open the scanAR app, point the screen towards the specific page of a textbook and the audio and video content will appear on their screen. And we have thought about everything – the user will be able to download that content, so they can listen to it or watch it anytime they want to, without the need to have an internet connection. Another feature that the application will have is “Add to Favourites”, where users can pick which parts of the textbook they want to mark as their favorites.

We believe that in an era when almost all of the population is on their smartphones, on their laptops, or on their tablets, this is the perfect solution and a chance for the publishing industry to start engaging with the “digital” generation. Augmented Reality brings a lot of benefits to companies or industries left out of the digital transformation wave. Also, let’s not forget about all the benefits it would bring to studying, as studying would not be the traditional reading, which bores most of the students, but it would rather engage them, as AR will make them feel as if they are  part of the story. Imagine reading history textbooks and imagine having the option to experience history in a specific time period. Or imagine learning a new language and being able to see the person who is teaching you how to pronounce the words, walking on your textbook.

The benefits, as you can see, are numerous and, if you are a publisher, the sooner you adapt to these new technologies, the better. CDs are no longer used by customers and those companies that react quickly and close this gap will win a competitive advantage. And those of them, who take the “wait and see” approach may find themselves quickly falling behind and trying to catch up with the competition.

If you are a publisher, we would love to know your opinion and feedback on what would be more useful for the publishing companies. To learn more about augmented reality for the publishing industry, visit or contact us at

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