Active Reading Application

Making sense of rich documents on mobiles

The Active Reading App brings the familiar experience of writing on paper to the Android tablet.

ARA augments paper-based practices with audio, the ability to review annotations, and sharing. It is designed make it easier to review, annotate, and comment on documents by individuals and groups. The Active Reading App incorporates several patented technologies and draws on several years of research and experimentation.

 

Benefits

  • Familiar user interface leverages years of experience with pen on paper
  • Ink, highlighter and audio annotations
  • Introduces unique annotation review interface
  • Seamless sharing facilitates group collaboration in real time
  • Works across multiple devices

What is the Active Reading App?
The Active Reading App is a tool for active reading: for skimming, for reading, for annotating, for and making sense of documents. It is designed based on extensive research on the way people read and how pen-based annotation is used to support reading and comprehension. The printed piece of paper represents the product of a long history of technological innovation. It’s easy to hold, easy to write on, easy to share with others. But it is not perfect.

The Active Reading App builds on the strengths of the paper but augments it with computation. Rather than simply emulating paper, it evolves paper-like interaction to the next level. With the Active Reading App, students and knowledge workers can highlight, mark, and comment on documents, just as they might on paper. But they can also go beyond paper:

Access to information
They can read and annotate a wide variety of documents, and refer to these over time. Doing this on paper would involve carrying large numbers of documents, which can get heavy.

Ability to review
The patented annotation view allows people to see only those passages of documents that they found interesting, compelling, controversial, or otherwise important based on the presence of annotation marks and audio notes. This technique makes it easy to find the important passages in a large document even after considerable time has passed.

Ubiquitous sharing
Knowledge work is seldom solitary, which is why the Active Reading App supports seamless sharing of annotations on documents. Collaborators can see each other’s annotations and hear audio notes almost instantaneously.

The Active Reading App can improve the effectiveness of teleconferencing by augmenting conversations with shared views of the documents being discussed. This ability allows distributed teams to work together in ways not possible with paper.

Technical Contact

Related Publications

2011
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia Industrial Exhibit
  • Nov 28, 2011

Abstract

Close
The Active Reading Application (ARA) brings the familiar experience of writing on paper to the tablet. The application augments paper-based practices with audio, the ability to review annotations, and sharing. It is designed to make it easier to review, annotate, and comment on documents by individuals and groups. ARA incorporates several patented technologies and draws on several years of research and experimentation.