Saturday, 9 January 2010

09. E-readers

What is an e-reader? Basically it is a tool that allows you to read a book from a flat screen. The other way to look at it is a computer, but with limited capabilities. The one most in the news is Amazon's Kindle. But there are many more out there - Barnes and Noble Nook, Asus, iRex, Stanza, not to mention Google book. Already this year we have seen the launch of iRiver's Story, Hanvon's WISEreader and Bookeen's Orizon! So else is in store?

But to me an eReader is nothing more than a tablet PC, in black and white (usually) which can do only one thing - present books and magazines for reading. How is that different from having a tablet netbook? The answer is that the latter will do a lot more. Why do I mention all this now? Because if the rumours are right, Apple are looking to do with books what their iPhone did to music. How to you do that? By launching a tablet Apple. The rumours have been around for the best part of a year. They are having a big event later this month. Could we see Apple change the world of reading? And if so, where will text-to-speech feature on their agenda?

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