Tribal Nova and the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University have combined their expertise in a research and development project that focuses on interactive and participative reading on the iPad, in conjunction with HarperCollins Publishers.

The project, which has received financial support from the Canada Media Fund, is designed to develop prototypes for interactive books, in French and English, which connect parent and child in the reading process. Reference works are provided by HarperCollins Publishers, the industry partner in the research project.

Dr. Susan Rvachew, Associate Professor at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill, believes that the project makes it possible to develop new approaches to young children’s language acquisition process. “By using the iPad as a reading support, the parent now has a high-performance tool to go along with reading and encourage the child to interact with the story, which could substantially boost the child’s language skills.” And that’s what Dr. Rvachew and her team will be measuring for the project, in which a rigorous process of research and analysis will be used.

Guillaume Aniorté, co-founder and co-CEO of Tribal Nova, is extremely pleased about this collaboration with the academic world – a first for the company. “Thanks to Dr. Rvachew’s team, Tribal Nova is taking yet another innovative step. Working on a new and advanced method of reading, Tribal Nova hopes to create next-generation interactive books, which are likely to attract traditional publishers.” Corinne Helman, Vice-President, Digital Publishing and Business Development, for HarperCollins Children’s Books, concurs, noting that “the project undertaken by Tribal Nova and McGill University brings real added value to publishers who hope to position themselves on new digital platforms.”

The first prototypes will be available for testing with children and parents during the winter of 2012, giving McGill teams the opportunity to evaluate the impact this method could have on the target audience before a full range of books based on this approach is launched.

January 9, 2012