Pocket Universe


A digital re-imagining of one of the greatest science books of all time

The brief

A Brief History of Time is Professor Hawking’s best known work and is largely regarded as one of the greatest science books of the late 20th Century. Whilst selling over 11 million copies in 40 languages, it has also been said that its complex subject matter has made it one of the least-finished books.

Transworld challenged Preloaded to use our expertise in visual and instructional design to re-imagine the book in interactive form, with the ambition to reach new audiences and make the content more widely understood.

The response

Pocket Universe presents the book’s concepts through the lens of Hawking’s proudest accomplishments as a physicist; his Singularity Theorems with Roger Penrose, ‘Hawking Radiation’, and his No Boundary Proposal.

The book’s topics are explored in this context, sparking ‘light bulb’ moments with narratives, visuals, and interactions that connect the dots and lead the audience from idea to idea.  

In the first update since 1998, this app also features new material from Hawking, explaining how his thinking around the book’s original ideas have changed in the light of new discoveries since it’s original publication.

The app delivers a core reading experience, presenting the abridged text alongside infographics and illustration, allowing readers to explore the ideas at their own pace, and challenge themselves to meaningfully understand the original text.

Stephen Hawking’s Pocket Universe: A Brief History of Time Revisited is available now on iPhone.

"I’m delighted that my original text is getting a new lease of life in the form of an app. I hope the app will bring my work to a whole new generation of people looking to find out how it all began."

Professor Stephen Hawking, Cambridge