The evolution of communications technologies exercises substantial influence on graphic communications products. In the world of printing, one group of the iconic products, notably books need to adapt to the challenges posed by digital developments of the 21st century.
Novel solutions surface from time to time to enable readers to associate printed information in books with further information that is available in the digital world. The use of smartphones as a basic device to have access to information seems to be a general trend nowadays, especially among people of younger generations. Such devices are suitable for using certain special symbols, QR codes, passive or active electronic elements that are inserted in the books to become connected to the world of virtual and/or augmented reality. These solutions raise new demands for binding technologies, as well.
In the context of a development effort made to create novel binding technologies, the authors found it necessary to work out a definition for the unit of measurement that describes the degree of the lay-flat character of book pages.
It is possible to specify and calculate the values with the application of photo engineering and graphical methods. Nevertheless, the authors have also devised a measuring instrument that measures the discrete function values with the use of measuring laser diodes, and results in the lay-flat value after numerical integration and calculation.
The definition of lay-flat values (as a new quality assessment factor) related to books offers assistance and guidance to the evaluation of new binding methods and research results.