Google Play Books Launches Bubble Zoom

Google Play Books Launches Bubble Zoom

One of the reasons ComiXology took off the way it did in the field of digital comics was its Guided View approach (trademarked and patent pending). Turning on Guided View allowed a comic to be shown panel-by-panel instead of a page at a time, which would be too hard to read on smaller screens. Now, Google Play Books has announced a competing technology: Bubble Zoom. Instead of focusing on the panel, it uses machine learning to zoom into speech balloons […]

Google

One of the reasons ComiXology took off the way it did in the field of digital comics was its Guided View approach (trademarked and patent pending). Turning on Guided View allowed a comic to be shown panel-by-panel instead of a page at a time, which would be too hard to read on smaller screens.

Now, Google Play Books has announced a competing technology: Bubble Zoom. Instead of focusing on the panel, it uses machine learning to zoom into speech balloons to blow up the “bubble” of text. They say, “Bubble Zoom automatically identifies and expands each speech bubble for readability.” Here’s an animation that demonstrates it:

Google

Bubble Zoom is only available for Marvel and DC collected volumes in English right now on the latest version of the Google Play Books app for Android. The goal is “to eventually bring Bubble Zoom to all the comics and manga ever made.” That’s a good idea, since readers keep aging as devices shrink.

Now the only problem is those who are annoyed by calling them “bubbles”. I admit, I like the sound of “Balloon Zoom” better.