Special features are great, when they're included in DVDs to supplement your favorite movie or TV show. So, why does the idea of creating special features for ebooks seem so... unnecessary?

In partnership with the augmented reality (AR) platform Zappar, Big Six publisher Penguin is upgrading some of the public doman classics of literature in its collection with Augmented Reality (AR) animations, video, audio, and extracts. The first two of which are Moby Dick and Lady Audley's Secret.

A reader need only point her phone at the book's cover and the Zappar app, which can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play, will bring these books to digital life.

Augmented reality, when implemented appropriately, can be a pretty great. Remember augmented reality James May? But what can AR tech do for a novel like Moby Dick? Watching a whale animation is not the same as reading the story. Seems like a distraction and a gratuitous bit of packaging. Isn't part of the Kindle's appeal that it is a no-frills digital display that closely replicates the look of ink-on-paper? The iPad even mimics the look of a paper page being turned.

When I'm reading, the last thing I want is to be distracted from the page by an animated figure or unnecessary audio clip. There are so many advantages to using an ereader device. I just wouldn't count special features as one of them.

What about you? Do you find any added value in AR ebook extras? [TheNextWeb]