"Dracula" Goes Interactive

The king of vampire is rising from the grave again--and this time he's going interactive.

One of the icon's of the horror genre, "Dracula" will get a new make-over for the 21st century when an interactive version of the classic Bram Stoker novel is released for iPads next week.

According to USA Today, the new version will include the original text of the book with a few enhancements that mix words, music and video-game-like features.

"It really is a different kind of reading experience," says Jeffrey Schechter of Padworx Digital Media, which created the new Dracula. "Because it is built on a game engine, not only can we do everything other interactive books can do, but we can also bring in 3-D graphics and game-play elements."

The new version is Apple's attempt to dip its toe into the world of e-books.  But instead of just offering the text, "Dracula" will offer readers something more.

The cutting-edge application contains interactive versions of journals, notes and maps. Also hidden in the application: the entire 1922 film "Nosferatu", an unauthorized film version of the "Dracula" story directed by F.W. Murnau, and an Orson Welles radio adaptation, as well as Stoker's death certificate (added after the family approved of the product).

Beyond the mood music, the enhanced book app has 21 independent rock songs that complement chapters, a move "to appeal to the 'Twilight', 'True Blood' and Vampire Diaries generation," Schechter says.

Consumers are embracing digital reading in many forms. Already, about 4 million U.S. homes have an e-book reader such as Amazon's Kindle, and Forrester Research projects sales of more than 29 million by 2015. But the research firm expects the iPad and other eventual tablet PC product sales to catch e-readers late next year.

"E-readers are very good at linear content, while the iPad is almost begging to be utilized in a more interactive way and obviously, a more entertaining way," says Forrester's James McQuivey. "That is where a lot of publishers are getting excited."

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