Apple has just filed a patent for an eBook autographing system. Their new system is designed to work with iCloud and in physical proximity. The technology will allow for the author and readers to be in the same room and have autographs transferred over via Bluetooth or WIFI.
Important to any autograph is authenticity, both for a user and the person giving away their signature. Apple is seeking to develop a certificate to be sent along with the autograph that verifies the content as legitimate. This digital marker can be stored on the recipient’s device or remotely on a server like iCloud. When a user synchronizes his eBook library, the digital token is passed along, thereby securing the authenticity and uniqueness of the autograph. This really makes the entire autographing system fairly unique.
One of the most interesting aspects of the new system is being able to not only interject a simple autograph into the an eBook, but also Video, Audio and Pictures. A reader can have their photo taken with the author and then have them autograph the picture within the eBook.
Publishers will be able to have more advanced tools for eBooks using Apples iBooks Author. They will be able to do more mass market autographs embedded in the books and do more multimedia based things.
The ability to digitally sign eBooks is nothing new and there are a number of companies that have pioneered digital autographing software, such as Authorgraph and Autography. For a number of years, these two companies have allowed authors to sign people’s Kindle and ePUB books by interjecting an extra page into a purchased book. Most of this takes place over the internet. Most of the autographing done is by indie authors on these platforms and the main allure is being hardware agnostic.