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STARRYWORKS inc. has developed PLAYFUL BOOKS, a combination of traditional picture books and modern technology. PLAYFUL BOOKS is a picture book that you can insert a smartphone int. The smartphone detects which page you are reading and incorporates various effects into the story.

As you turn the page, music plays to accompany the scene and the color of the lights changes as well. Also, when you knock on a door in the story, there is a response. Children will be mesmerized these exciting functions.


Today most parents would probably agree that children spend too much time on digital devices. This may cause bad eyesight, lack of sleep and excessive reliance on games and the internet. According to Digital Arts Inc.(*), over 70% of parents in Japan feel apprehensive about their children using digital devices. This product helps put their mind at ease.

PLAYFUL BOOKS combines the traditional reading experience with modern technology. Instead of looking at a screen, children read actual pages while still enjoying digital interaction.

(*) (see Aug. 27, 2014)
Copyright 2014, Digital Arts Inc.

Technical Features

Our groundbreaking innovation is the page detection system. The camera on the smartphone reads the number of holes on the pages. It can then identify which page is being read. Today almost everyone has a smartphone, so people can experience an interactive book that has no electrical devices installed in it. Furthermore, any function that is possible with a smartphone can be used to enhance the reading experience.

We use smartphones as the sensors for page detection. This is unlike anything else on the market. We can cheaply produce the physical books since the customers already own the sensor. We have applied for a patent of this technology.

Status / Projection

We have offered two picture book titles for purchase since October 2014 In Japan: "Have You Seen My Crayons?" and "Knock Knock Knock". The smartphone app was simultaneously distributed free of charge. Since February 2015, we have sold them on Amazon for customers in the United States.

In addition to expanding the roster of available titles, future plans also include aggressive efforts to further enhance linking features, hold interactive book-making workshops, and release software development kits (SDK) that will facilitate the effortless creation of original picture books.

Logo / Images / Movies

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Product Overview

Product name: PLAYFUL BOOKS
Official website:
Online store:
Introduction video:
Developer and distributor: STARRYWORKS inc.
Launch: September 8th, 2014

Company Overview

Company Name: STARRYWORKS inc.
Head office address: RE-006 Bldg #201, 2-2-17 Utsubo-hommachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 550-0004, Japan
Established: July 7, 2006
Capital: 10 million yen
Number of employees: 17
CEO: Koji Kimura
Business: Planning, design and development of digital services, content and products


Yoshiko Dokyu
Tel: +81-6-6445-5471
Fax: +81-6-6445-5472