Innovation That Matters

App offers stranded passengers stories based on delay time

Work & Lifestyle

VertragingsApp from the Netherlands supplies readers with short stories based on the time it takes to read each piece.

Public transport users in Brazil looking for entertainment while they travel have already been offered 24×7 Cultural’s pay-what-you-want book vending machines located in subway stations. For travelers who weren’t planning on taking a lengthy journey however, VertragingsApp now offers stories organized by the time it takes to read them for those stuck on a delayed service. Available from the App Store for EUR 2.99, VertragingsApp hosts a range of short stories tagged with the average time period needed to complete each piece – including 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 45 and 60-minute stories. The idea behind the app is that travelers experiencing delays due to poor weather conditions or problems with the route can search for fiction or non-fiction from well-known authors that they will be able to finish before they step off the train or bus. Developed in collaboration with the publishing houses Querido, Nijgh & Van Ditmar, Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep and Q, the current collection features excerpts from longer books which include links to a webshop where the reader can purchase the full text. As well as entertaining commuters stuck on public transport or those without much free time to read, the app serves to promote the up-and-coming authors published by VertragingApp’s partners. Users can also request their for favorite authors be added. VertragingsApp is currently available only in Dutch. With that in mind, is this one to partner with, or an idea to replicate for texts in other languages? Spotted by: Noortje Berrevoet-Verhoeven



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