This week the New York Public Library issued a new app called Biblion: The Boundless Library. Using Biblion is like visiting a sumptuously-curated library exhibition, but it's all there in an app.
The Atlantic has a nice review of Biblion:
The first edition of Biblion focuses on the 1939-1940 World Fair. And what's fascinating to me is that you don't feel like you're reading something about the fair, but experiencing what it's like to tool around behind the scenes at a museum or in an archive. The impression is spatial. You chart your own path, find pieces of text, photos or video, and then assemble them yourself into a narrative of the fair.
Not only does this brilliantly mimic the process of going to a world fair, but I think it could be an interesting model for translating web content to the iPad. Instead of any kind of linear presentation ("the stream"), a user would be presented with topic areas populated by photos, text, links, videos.
Read the full review here.
A similar product -- translated to law school casebooks -- could aggregate primary sources, historical material, secondary commentary, study tools and multi-media files. A first-mover with this sort of product would have a big market advantage. Unfortunately, law school publishers just aren't there yet with the multimedia casebook. Maybe an app that aggregates supplemental sources would be a better way to go.
One significant challenge in transporting the Biblion model to legal education might be obtaining permissions to use multiple publishers' copyrighted materials in a legal education app. It would be cool though!