One of the emerging discussions among the book lovers is the challenge posed to their great habit by the technological advancements that are taking place thick and fast. Ever increasing use of social networks and the popularity of online communities have undoubtedly affected the good tastes of most of the young generation. It is evident that the taste for literature and reading books has been on its way down. One of the major reasons for that phenomenon is the lack of usage of technology by the book publishers and book sellers in Sri Lanka.
A set of talented budding engineers from the faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa has identified this void in our country and they have come up with a simple but an innovative idea to blend technology with books. Their idea provides us with a great insight as to how we can use technologies such as mobile communications, internet etc. for popularizing reading among our generation.
“Book Seeker” is the brand name of their product. Book Seeker is a customized mobile application that has been developed for the use of the upcoming Colombo International Book Fair, with the collaboration of Dialog and Sri Lanka Book Publishers Association. You do not need to own a high end mobile to use this. All what you need is to send an SMS to get this service.
Application works as follows:
Send the complete title of the book that you want to find at the Book Fair to Book Seeker. It will search the book for you and reply you with the list of publishers who have the requested book along with their stall numbers and locations. One of the major advantages of the application is its intelligence. You do not need spell the title of the book perfectly. It corrects your typing mistakes. You can search for books of any language as well. All what you have to do is type the title of the book in English (not the translation, but type the words as it is in English, same as you type Sinhalese words in English when sending SMS).
We believe that this application will be of immense use for the book loving public of the island. During previous years, the large number of stalls, the huge crowd that visited the book fair as well as the long queues made finding the books you really want immensely difficult. With the invention of this app, you will no longer need to go from stall to stall in search of the books you want to buy. Even from home, you can get to know about the locations and publishers of the books, which will undoubtedly make the lives of the readers easy.
In order to use the app, first you have to register yourself. Type reg<space>isk and send to 77115 from your Dialog mobile and get registered. Registration needs to be done only once. After getting registered, you can search for books by typing isk<space>book name and send to 77115.
Although this is a simple application, this concept has the potential to go a long way. Book Seeker developer team has plans to extend this idea further to empower the book loving community of the island. We wish them all the very best for their future endeavours.