We started Immer because we love both reading and technology. Two concepts that have gone hand in hand since the dawn of time: from rock paintings, clay tables en wood carvings, via papyrus and parchment, to Gutenberg’s printing press. To the supercomputer in your pocket that you rarely use to read books (for now), but constantly for short texts.
We noticed that people increasingly read less long and less deep, and often blame their phones and tablets. We get it! As 21st-century citizens of the world, we lead distracted lives with hardly any room to relax and sit back with a book. So we thought: Why couldn’t those devices help us to read?
Our mission is to make people read more often, longer and in more places, with a superior reading experience. Because we believe that books are of great importance to humanity.
In our busy lives (and in our complex society!) it is essential to take time for ourselves. To have a place, a mode, in which you work on your personal wellbeing by diving into other people’s ideas, feelings and surroundings.
Deep reading, consciously and prolongedly immersing yourself in a story, whether it is to learn or to experience, is perhaps the easiest way to get into that mode. The written word is a unique ‘slow design’ that forces you to focus and contemplate. But you need to take the time for it!
We want to help you read on the supercomputer that’s already in your pocket, and we’ll gradually discover how to do that. Because our first goal is: to understand readers. Immer is an experimental start-up, and our primary reason for being is to learn.
We already know that people want to read. That’s reflected in all kinds of studies and numerous conversations we had ourselves. Why then is there so little reading? Yes, the threshold is high, distraction is everywhere, and time is scarce, but for such a valuable activity, these seem like surmountable obstacles. The better we understand how and why people read, what they run into and what makes them happy, the more we can improve our app.
The books themselves are another starting point. We strive to understand how they work, in an algorithmic way, so we can make connections between structure, content and reading behavior. For instance, this enables us to tell you you’ll exactly be able to read that next chapter during your fifteen minutes on the train.
That’s our second goal: to develop the best reading app in the world. Intelligent, empathetic software that helps you read the way you prefer. That understands what you want, reading between the lines, and harmoniously interweaves with your life.
In practice, Immer helps you pick the right book, finish it or put it aside. Helps to find moments and places for yourself. On top of that, Immer makes books more accessible, not by changing the content, but by presenting them better.
We don’t stick to what’s obvious and draw on behavioral psychology, games and machine learning, because we think that the best solutions can come from unexpected sources. And we’re convinced that our smart devices have more to offer than superficial games and social media.
But we’ll only succeed if we also reach our third goal: when we all dive deeper into books. Spend time with more focus. Learn more. Have more fun. When we are all touched, comforted and inspired. When everyone sympathizes more with others.
When everyone reads.
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Cultivating the visuals, audio and UI of Lotus
The Writing Platform article
About writing Lotus
SonicPicnic blog post
About the Lotus audio