Boqio: Intelligent Learning App for iPad

Client: Alcatel-Lucent
Date: 2009 - 2012
Services: Service & Product Design


Revolutionizing the education with a new iOS ebook App for teachers and students using the power of social network and machine learnings



Boqio was a collaborative research project led by Abilene Christian University, Cambridge University Press and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs.

Abilene Christian University was a privileged Apple Partners because it developed one of the first learning program in the USA using iPhone. In 2009, ACU was seeking to improve learning with a new ebook app based tailored for iPad. At this time, the iPad was not announce publicly and we only got specifications about supported format for ebooks. Bell Labs and ACU defined the new product as a social book, leveraging the power of social network to:

  • Find more easily relevant information of the ebook
  • Leverage social knowledge and expertise
  • Increase the value of the ebook by adding additional relevant content

The main features of Boqio were:

  • Collaborative annotations
  • Collaborative learning path through an ebooks collection
  • Semantic text analysis and paragraph recommendation (heat map)
  • Contextualized multimedia content inside the book

Final screens

Table of content to navigate the book

Add symbolic annotations (highlights, underlines or symbols), and see others readers annotations

Navigate other readers symbolic annotations per type of annotation

Add semantic annotations: notes, interpretations, summary, conversations

Browse per type of reader: readers, experts, groups

Annotations classifications to improve learnings

Boqio V2

After the release of the first version, we worked on the iPad interactions to increase the focus on the ebook and limit the distraction from the interface.  The second version of the app was released in June 2011 (iPad 1st Gen, May 2010)

We also developed a new feature based on semantic text analysis to to be able to search inside the book not a topic but a reading goal. Results are displayed on a heat map showing to have the global view of the book.