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WSJ: Scrollmotion to handle textbooks for the iPad

The Wall Street Journal tonight reports that Scrollmotion, a company we’ve profiled before and you can see at the WWDC 2009 event above, will be building eTextbooks for a number of publishers.

“People have been talking about the impact of technology on education for 25 years. It feels like it is really going to happen in 2010,” said Rik Kranenburg, group president of higher education for the education unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. and one of the publishers involved in the project. Other publishers include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, which is a unit of Education Media & Publishing Group Ltd.; Pearson PLC’s Pearson Education, and Washington Post Co.’s Kaplan Inc., known for its test-prep and study guides.

Scrollmotion has been involved with the App Store since its inception and has turned lots of big publishers’ books into apps.  You can see in the video above how their textbook software works.

It’s also unclear whether ScrollMotion will emerge as the leading applications provider, with many others in the works. A closely held New York-based firm, ScrollMotion has already developed applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. ScrollMotion takes digital files provided by publishers for the iPad, adapts them to fit on the device, and then adds enhancements such as a search function, dictionaries, glossaries, interactive quizzes and page numbers.

We had actually wondered if Apple had picked up Scrollmotion because their iBookstore looked very similar to Scrollmotion’s Iceberg reader.  The news is good for Apple and the book market as Apple doesn’t seem to need to be the only player.

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