Are you tired yet of all the talk lately about e-readers?
No, I’m not either……yet.
E-readers, of course, are those devices everyone’s talking about that are made primarily for….you guessed it…e-books.
Anything that can display a digitized book can be called an e-reader, I guess, but it seems that most people have in mind a hand-held portable device when they talk about these.
Amazon’s Kindle was the first e-reader to really take off. It uses e-ink for the display. E-ink evolved from MIT’s Media Lab as a more readable form of electronic paper. The pixels consist of small charged balls or microcapsules that are black on one side and white on the other. Orienting these with an electric field can quickly create readable text from books or magazines.
Once the microcapsules are in position, it takes no extra juice to keep them there. This gives the device a tremendous battery life.
Now there are many different e-readers available; The Nook, The Alex, The Skiff….the list goes on and on and on.
Who knows which one will really take off. Wanna know my favorite? I do have a favorite but it’s not a hardware solution, it’s all in software. It’s called the Blio and it’s made by one of the many companies of Ray Kurzweil.
Some of the benefits of the Blio are the following:
- It perfectly replicates the visual experience of the original book or magazine in terms of layout, color etc. This is something many other readers fall short of.
- The text can be read to you (like an audiobook) if you don’t want to or can’t read it. I love this option.
- Video is also available but I’m not sure to what extent. I only saw an animated diagram on one of the Blio demo pages.
- The software will be available at the end of January for free including 1 million e-books (yes…1,000,000 books for nothing but bandwidth costs). The other 200,000 e-books that are available will need to be paid for but hey, that’s ok.
This sounds like a great idea to me. By producing what seems like a great software product for free, the winner(s) of the e-reader hardware wars becomes irrelevant (assuming Blio is available on them).
If you want to find out more about Blio, the homepage is here.
p.s. In case you were wondering…yes, it will also work on the iPhone.