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Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit targets families across multiple mobile devices

December 28, 2010

Sideways is driving sales of paid content across a variety of connected devices

Sideways is driving sales of paid content across a variety of connected devices

Sideways’ Buddy Reading technology is powering a paid digital version of Beatrix Potter’s classic children’s book, “Peter Rabbit: Buddy Edition” for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Taking advantage of Apple’s new Game Center technology, Buddy Edition lets two people remotely read aloud together. Now a parent on a business trip can read a bedtime story in real-time to a child at home with both able to interact with the digital book and each other across different devices.

“We create our own apps when we have a new technology that we want to demonstrate and explore,” said Eliza Wing, president and cofounder of Sideways, Cleveland. “In this case, the Peter Rabbit: Buddy Edition allows us to showcase our patent-pending Buddy Reading technology.

“Buddy Reading allows parents, grandparents, uncles or aunts to read to children no matter where they are,” she said. “Using Apple Game Center and any combination of iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices, parents can connect with their children.”

Sideways makes applications for the Apple iOS and Android platforms that transform publications and other projects into experiences for mobile users.

The team of developers, designers, artists and editors uses common file types to produce multi-media, multi-touch and multi-user applications.

Sideways will consult on marketing, pricing strategies and other challenges that must be met to release a successful application.

Mobile ebooks
The Peter Rabbit: Buddy Edition application features Sideways’ Anigraphic Engine, which lets authors add directorial commands to their text, graphics and audio.

The Anigraphic Engine enables the development of animated books with sound effects and voice-over narration.

With this technology, an animated book can now be envisioned, designed and built without custom software development.

In addition to Buddy Reading, Peter Rabbit: Buddy Edition enhances the classic story in the following ways:

Children can read the book on their own or choose the “Read To Me” option.

A “Learn To Read” function allows children to touch objects and see and hear the words. 

Users can interact with the pictures; some initiate sounds when touched while others can be moved from the screen.
For example, children can help the bunnies fill their baskets with berries.

A coloring book featuring the line drawings from Beatrix Potter’s first version of the book is included in the Sideways application enabling children to digitally color a favorite drawing and then share it electronically with friends and relatives.
Peter Rabbit: Buddy Edition is now available in the iTunes App Store for $1.99.

Sideways launches every title with media outreach. The company uses its social media presence and its Web site to promote its new products as well.

The target demographic is two-fold, per Sideways.

“First, we are targeting parents who will want to purchase Peter Rabbit: Buddy Edition so that their children can read the book or have the book read to them as well as color the original black and white line drawings,” Ms. Wing said.

“Secondarily, we are targeting children ages six and up who might be interested in the book,” she said.

Tablet boom
Sideways believes that 2011 is going to be a year of tremendous growth for the tablet space.

Goldman Sachs predicts that by year’s end there will be 54 million tablet devices in use – that is a 500 percent year-over-year growth rate.

“The impact on traditional publishers will be seismic as they work to adopt workflows to include digital production in their current publishing cycle,” Ms. Wing said. “Those who do not adapt to the new pricing and production realities will see themselves losing share.

“The growth in tablets and digital downloads will create new players in the market,” she said. “Sideways is actively working to help traditional publishers to adapt to this new technological reality.”

Final Take
Sideways’ Buddy Reading

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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