While many companies are talking about making the iPad the platform for electronic textbooks, one San Francisco startup appears to be moving boldly into making the dream a reality.
Inkling has announced that it'll be receiving financial backing from two of the largest names in textbook publishing -- Pearson and McGraw-Hill. What sets Inkling apart from other companies testing the textbook waters is its approach to creating truly interactive books that go beyond just making an electronic version of a book. Many e-textbook publishers simply make a PDF file of the content in an existing textbook and leave it at that.
Matt MacInnis, founder and CEO of Inkling, noted in a MobileBeat post today that the company starts with existing textbook content as a framework, then adds interactive and multimedia content that is only possible on the iPad. One impressive feature is the addition of interactive quizzes to the end of each chapter of the iPad textbooks. Inkling only has 14 textbooks available at this time, but it's expected to have over 100 out by this fall.
Not only is Inkling receiving funding from some big names, but it also has partnerships with John Wiley & Sons, Wolters Kluwer and W.W. Norton that give the company access to about 95 percent of available textbook content.
There's a short video demonstrating one of Inkling's e-textbooks, Mader Biology 10th edition, on the next page. The company's free iPad app is available here.