Thursday, September 11, 2008

e-Book Readers: Now You're Talkin'

I believe this has been the longest gap in posting this blog has ever suffered. My apologies--my semester of teaching was getting underway.

There will be a substantial post later today or tomorrow about my friend, the novelist Shauna Seliy, and the subject of narrative structure in novels. But for now, here's this: the first e-paper device that I might actually want to someday own. It's made by a company called Plastic Logic, and is very large, thin, and evidently bright. And more importantly, is it not slated to be dependent, as the Amazon Kindle is, upon subscriptions to proprietary content--indeed, it reads pdfs. In the demo video posted at that link, the reader is referred to as a "business reading device," but if, like me, you spend a lot of time reading manuscripts from students and friends which you are not obliged to mark up, and which, in paper form, you would promptly recycle or discard after using, this might be the ideal way to do it. And does "gesture-based user interface" mean a touchscreen? Maybe you will be able to mark stuff up after all. Check out the way the dorky dude in the vid "turns the page" by stroking his thumb across the screen (not that it appears to be working quite right!).

There's a wireless interface as well, for downloading newspapers and paid content. And Plastic Logic is apparently also working on a flexible e-ink device that will feel more like an actual newspaper.

16 comments:

Mr. Saflo said...

So paper-like, you'll almost think you're reading from real paper!!!

jrlennon said...

And instead of killing a tree, you'll be responsible for the extraction of hundreds of gallons of petroleum from the ground!

But it least it won't go into some bastard's Hummer!

rmellis said...

I'm sure your second wife will enjoying living in a bookless house.

jrlennon said...

Now, now, dear. Will we still have plenty of rigid rectangular objects around to prop the windows open with.

rmellis said...

Yeah, but I know you and Owen are working on a remote control window-prop that says something like, "Shut the window, the pie is getting cold!"

Mr. Saflo said...

Oh, you guys...

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