MultiWords Functional Spec


What is the product? What does it do? How does it do it?

  • MultiWords is a Mozilla-like multifunctional online-reading mediator.
  • Plug-in components, hardware and software that are accessed via third-party output devices with the capability of tracking readers’ comprehension levels. Additional components can track users’ mood or level of engagement (via heart rate or other monitoring device).
  • Software that collects and distributes data received from readers to subscribing authors.
  • Software automatically adjusts reading level of book by editing it on the fly to a reading level determined by the plug-in hardware from the user’s eye movements and physical data.

What are the markets?

  • Authors
  • Readers
  • Publishers?

Author takes reader feedback into account, can use it as a resource. So can reader.

Available via Mozilla/Wikipedia/WordPress non-profit company

API is freely distributed so 3rd-party vendors can add MultiWord functionality to their products, such as authoring tools, reading platforms, etc.

Can be plugged into authoring tools.

Dan Gillmor thinks of it as a tool that changes how a book comes into being and then can be used to changed and remix the book, either by the author or by readers.

  • Dynamic feedback between reader and author in creating new iterations of the book.
  • Readers’ engagement will be different depending on the levels at which they are subscribed. (Special info from certain readers?)

User benefits:

  • Benefit to reader: they get a customized reading experience
  • Some may feel a deeper connection to the author or to the work.
  • Author can look at collective data and drill down.
  • Author gets a community specific to the book
  • Useful for developing a crowdsourced book

Are we looking at an omnibus tool?

From the author’s POV, it works like this:

  • Author writes original work.
  • Reader views work from accustomed output device, which includes hardware capability that enables it to track reader’s eye movement, emotional states.
  • Author or publisher receives :

—  data about readers’ eye movements
—  actual comments from readers
—  aggregated feedback from readers

  • Reader receives:

— benefit of a customized reading experience (to reader’s personal level, which can change automatically if reading competency improves)

—  possible special relationship with author


Additional functionalities planned for version 2.0

Add composition package, so existing simple texts can be made more complicated. Turns short stories into novels? Guarantees a higher grade on book reports?

Add pallet of constraints, so authors can limit what can be done to their prose. (Note: I’m sure that these authors will suffer in the marketplace!)

Add functionality to enable readers to customize the text of a work to reflect their beliefs or personality.

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