With the growing popularity of digital content, e-books and the new social medial frontier, Atwood and Gibson saw a new, remarkable way to extend this vision so that not only the author might sit in the comfort of their living room, so can the fans. “Anyone with an e-reader or a computer to be able to interact with an artist, whether it be an author or whether it be a musician, or a sports celebrity, or a Hollywood movie star, whoever it is, can meet with their fans from the comfort and the security of their home and sign high-value products.” The iDoLVine technology creates original unique limited editions. “It's not just a picture,” explained Gibson. “The handwriting is being embedded into the object.”
When iDoLVine was introduced last month at Book Expo America, Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, Atwood and other authors held virtual-real events. Any graphical image, whether a drawing or a signature “that was digitally delivered could be output using our robotic technology with a real pen as if the fan and the author were in the same room when that transaction took place.”
Gibson explained how iDoLVine works. “Until you see it (watch the video below), it's sort of difficult to wrap your head around it,” said Gibson. It is actually a “robotic device that holds a $1.29 cent pen and will take whatever you input into a tablet wherever you happen to be and output it onto a physical piece of paper or a book. What we create and output at the far end is legally binding, biometrically accurate, absolutely your handwriting.” It is so real that signatures created by it have been used by Ontario’s Cabinet to enact legislation.
Gibson noted, “fans and artists to actually communicate comfortably in a high quality way.” The fan gets more than a signed book or e-book. Because it’s done via the Internet with a camera, the entire thing is filmed. So “you also get a copy of the video clip if you're talking to your favorite author” to share friends.” As Gibson pointed out, it’s more of a keepsake than a simple memory of having met the author, and an autograph.
Authors can also make personally autographed books available for readers to purchase at checkout, say at Amazon.com. “If an author gets a request from a consumer out in the marketplace going through a checkout process buying a book, we can provide a small tab that [asks if the buyer would] like this book dedicated? And we arrange that with the author in advance. The author can say in any given month I will sign 200 books and what happens is that you as a consumer buying Stephen King's latest novel will have—be presented an opportunity to have that book personalized to you, whether it be an e-book or whether it be a hard copy book. Our system will send a request to Stephen and Stephen will at his leisure while he's at home, sign the dedications into a digital signing tablet and that will be the end process back into the backend. The book will be signed or the e-book will be signed and both of them will be delivered almost instantaneously.”