Al Gore wants to re-invent the ebook

The man who claimed to have invented the internet, along with global warming and a failed presidential attempt, is having a crack at re-doing the ebook.

Al Gore has teamed up with two former Apple geniuses, Kimon Tsinteris and Mike Matas, to publish Our Choice, an app version of Gore’s 2009 book about global warming.

While the book is probably old news, the outfit printing it Push Pop Press said that the book “will change the way we read books”. It combines high quality photography with interactive graphics and animations, they say. There is narration from Gore himself and more than an hour of video.

According to Wired the Push Pop Press publishing platform allows telling a story with more photos, more videos and interactions.

Basically it appears to be a platform which is designed to take advantage of all the features of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, including touchscreen gestures, the microphone and the array of sensors.

Other than the fact it assumes that people want to read ebooks in the eye stinging LCD world, the uncomfortable truth is that an internet approach to ebooks is less attractive than it looks.

Firstly, it only works in formats where you need graphics to explain a point. Secondly, it turns every book into a shallow TV style realisation of reality the material as book designers strive to “illustrate” text.

Anyone who has seen a television documentary of a subject they know something about is usually appalled by how short statements are punctuated by long dimly related arty images.