New Amazon Patent Seeks to Add “DVD Extras” to eBooks

Amazon Patents ‘DVD Extras’ for eBooks

Amazon’s quest for world dominance continues unabated, it seems, as a new patent suggests they’re going to be adding the equivalent of “DVD extras” to eBooks.

The online retailer was granted a patent today outlining a "Customized Electronic Book with Supplemental Content" (Patent #8478662). It describes a way to enhance Kindle e-books by tacking on supplemental material provided by publishers or reputable sources. The e-books would be personalized by adding additional content within the specific interests of individual readers, or reader types. So, you could be reading A Game of Thrones and an additional story line or illustration (for example, a map) could be accessed from within the book, sort of like a DVD extra.

It’s unclear exactly who will be producing it, whether it’s the publisher or these "trusted contributors” they’ve been talking about (kinda like the ones in their Kindle Worlds project for fan fiction), but it also has potential uses in education or maybe annotations by knowledgeable experts. The customization aspects could be very interesting.

The patent outlines a way to manage this extra content via a multi-level e-book framework to be built by Amazon. The core content would live on one portion of the framework while secondary content would be added to other portions. Only the extra content relevant to your interests would be delivered to your copy of the e-book.

Would it improve the eBook experience? I think so, but it’ll really depends on how it’s handled and ultimately who these “trusted contributors” are.

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Kevin Lynn Helmick's picture
Kevin Lynn Helmick from Lake Villa IL is reading Train, Pete Dexter July 6, 2013 - 2:04pm

I've seen a few virtual book covers too, and I love that idea. Like that opening scene on a dvd that plays over and over until you hit play, or in this case, read.