I have to get back to featuring startups. I can't think of a better startup to feature today than inkling. They are changing how my son will get his textbooks when he heads to college next year.
You can see the impact of Steve Jobs all over the place in this video.
Wow, is the future better because of this stuff.
This is a not-to-be-missed example of the kind of impact that Steve Jobs has on the tech industry and all of us.Inkling: moving textbooks onto the iPad
Historically, textbooks have been neither fun to purchase (they’re expensive) nor fun to lug around campus (they’re heavy). And depending on the subject matter, they are often rendered obsolete by the presence of updated information or changes in thought. Inkling is addressing each of these issues by moving textbooks out of the physical world and into the digital world of the iPad.
Matt MacInnis, Founder and CEO of Inkling, worked at Apple for 8 years and spent much of that time in Apple’s education group. As he sat in classrooms and watched teachers ask students to put away their laptops when it was time to learn, it dawned on him that things needed to change.
“I knew even then, before there was an iPad, that something had to give,” explains MacInnis. “We had to reinvent this physical, static, heavy textbook that everyone was still using and replace it with something that was more dynamic, something that connected people rather than isolating people from one another, something that was way more akin to the way that students spend their lives outside the classroom everyday anyway, and that’s really what we’re trying to build with Inkling.”
Inkling works with the major textbook publishers like Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wylie and W. W. Norton. They disassemble the publishers’ market-leading titles as well as all the associated ancillary media such as videos, assessment questions and 3D objects and combine all of these elements to construct something from the ground up for the iPad. The result is a textbook that is interactive, able to be updated as new information becomes available and priced 30% to 40% less than the print versions.
“In Inkling…we connect people within the content,” says MacInnis. “We like to say that when you download any Inkling title, you get the collective wisdom of anybody who’s ever used that book before, because you have access to all of the conversations of every user, globally, who uses that book…As you work your way through Inkling content, you’re dynamically assembling a study guide. Every time you make a highlight or a comment or a note, every time you see something that somebody else said that you like, it excerpts that little snippet and throws it into your notebook, and that’s something you can go back and study.”
The digital version of each title is compatible with the print version, so students can stay in sync with the professor or with another student using the print version. Over 50 schools are already either recommending or requiring Inkling for their incoming students.
“It’s the sort of thing,” explains MacInnis, “where you take a gamble to reinvent a medium and do something that’s just way different from anything that people have done before, and [you] worry whether when people see it they’ll love it as much as you loved it in design. When people see Inkling, there’s this aha moment when they recognize that the way that you explore content on a device like this is just so different from anything they’ve seen before.”
Inkling web site: http://www.inkling.com/
Inkling profile on CrunchBase: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/inkling-inc
Inkling profile on Twitter: http://twitter.com/inkling