Literary Reflections: Interactive Mirror Draws Readers In

Everyone loves a good fairy tale. The whimsical characters and fantastical events capture our imaginations and might even serve to teach us a lesson or two. This magical mirror from Romy van den Broek lets fairy tale lovers of any age actually become part of the story. Although it looks like a floor mirror, it is actually a large, highly reflective touch screen equipped with motion capture technology. As the story progresses, the user interacts with the setting and characters in a variety of very cool ways. For example, in the story Hansel and Gretel, the viewer picks up stones to help Hansel and the story doesn’t progress until the task is completed.

By bringing the landscape of the story to life while telling the story aloud, the mirror lets young readers become immersed in fairy tales like never before. The user actually becomes the main character and performs some of the activities the character performs in the book. It’s almost like a video game or an interactive movie, but it is actually encouraging an interest in classic stories. The shape of the screen calls to mind a number of classic fairy tales in which a magic mirror is itself a main character. The name itself, Through the Looking Glass, is an allusion to Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Involving readers (particularly young ones) in literature is a sure way to foster a life-long love of reading.

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See more in Various Gizmos or under Gadgets. July, 2011.
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