Bring a children’s book to life

Current student Rosalie de Moel’s story

Rosalie so can you image

Current THUAS student Rosalie de Moel has written a children’s book which centres on a little boy named Max. Max has recently moved to a new home and sets out on an adventure. At first glance, it seems like an ordinary children’s book with nice illustrations. But if you point your smartphone or tablet at the book, you’ll see Max flying across your screen. That’s because Rosalie and her classmates applied a technology called Augmented Reality (AR). The book has become an instant hit.

About Rosalie

Rosalie de Moel is 22 years old and lives in a student house in Delft which she shares with eight other women and her cat, Coco. She is studying Communication & Multimedia Design and is currently taking courses in digital didactics and new media. “This discipline neatly combines all the things I like, effectively and attractively designing and deploying digital learning tools to enhance children’s learning. Our children’s book is a perfect example of this.”

“Welcome to this great building!” Rosalie proudly shows off her workspace in Zoetermeer, which is part of the Dutch Innovation Factory. This former factory is home to a true ICT community where start-ups can get a chance at success, seek help and arrange accommodation. Here, you’ll not only find entrepreneurs but ICT students from THUAS and researchers as well. Knowledge transfer, collaboration and innovation - it all goes on here, each and every day. “We presented a school assignment in this building and that’s when our adventure began.”

From school assignment...

Rosalie tackled an assignment in the second year of her degree programme in Communication and Multimedia Design with her classmates. They worked extremely hard for two weeks on what would later become their business - a children’s book that comes to life through the use of AR. AR allows you to ‘augment’ real, two-dimensional images with virtual 3D images. These images can then be seen by looking on a smartphone or tablet, or through special goggles. This allows a street scene, painting or even a children’s book to really come to life.

We’re excited to make reading important again in this modern era

... to children’s book

DSC_0725“From the very first week of the assignment, we knew we wanted to do something involving AR. We came up with the idea for a children’s book in week two and were immediately very excited. The cooperation couldn’t have been smoother and, ultimately, we were able to design an entire children's book about Super Mario in just a few days. We glued posters to cardboard, bound the pages together and made special pages that show moving 3D images when scanned with a smartphone app. For example, you can ‘peek’ around a tree with the app.”

Mentor Maurice and help from THUAS

“Maurice, who owns our workspace, saw our presentation and was enthusiastic about our idea. He gave us a desk and provided a huge amount of help and support. That man knows everything. Thanks to him, Sem, Elliot and I were able to launch our company and begin developing a new book for kids. THUAS is making it possible for us to continue developing our app and the new book during our internship and a few of our courses. I’ve learned so much!”

For now, we still have part-time jobs, but we hope to earn a living from our company down the line

A dream come true

“Every spare bit of time we have is devoted to our company. We’re excited to make reading important again in this modern era. The app that goes with the book can be updated, so we can change the story whenever we like. For instance, we’ve designed a special seasonal page that changes depending on the time of the year. We’ve sold hundreds of copies so far. Our children’s book is in library collections and we sell it to well-known businesses. In 2017, our book won the Hybrid Student Entrepreneur Award. The cash prize enabled us to make further investments, like paying to have our first edition printed. For now, we still have part-time jobs, but we hope to earn a living with our company down the line. The sequel to our children’s book is in the pipeline and we’re setting our sights abroad. There are other AR applications that also really appeal to us. There are plenty of ideas out there and we can’t wait to start!”