Polymer Vision's dream of an all-in-one e-book reader and portable media device has reportedly faded.
The Netherlands-based maker of the Readius folded recently, according to a report in England's Hampshire Chronicle. The company was a spinoff of Philips and had offices in Southampton in the U.K. The local paper says 50 jobs at the Southampton location were lost when the company went bankrupt on July 7.
The Readius was a strange-looking, if ambitious device. Part portable media device, part e-reader, the Readius was innovative in that it used a flexible E-Ink display so it could be folded … Read more
Open the nightstand in some hotels these days and you'll find a Sony Reader alongside the bible. Expanding a hotel trend of offering access to high-tech amenities like iPods, a number of establishments are now adding complimentary e-book readers to their lists of perks.
OK, the gadgets won't literally be next to the bible. At Gansevoort establishments in Manhattan, Miami, and Turks & Caicos, guests can relax poolside with Sony Readers, doled out for free on a first-come, first-served basis. (New York's Gansevoort also lends out Nintendo Wiis.)
Kimpton's swank new Epic Hotel in Miami, meanwhile, … Read more
The Amazon Kindle 2 is a good device. No question about it. Almost everyone who has one seems to love it, and indeed, there's a lot to love. But no device is perfect, and that's what keeps us members of the tech media in business. So, I thought I'd start a semi-regular series in which I attempt to give friendly suggestions to companies about how to make their products that much better--how to take it to the next level, if you will. And I'm starting with the Kindle 2. These suggestions aren't all the same issues that our expert reviewers point out in "the bad" section of our official CNET review, but just assume those are in there, too. And yes, some of these ideas depend on widespread adoption of the Kindle or any e-book reader: but they'll also help it get to that widespread adoption in the first place. Win-win! Let's begin.
Make it better with sharing The Kindle 2, or any electronic book reader, marks a dramatic change from the way we normally read books. Sure, the reading is solitary, but books are fundamentally social in nature. You share books. You recommend them, you loan them out, you pass them around, you mark pages for each other. The Kindle 2 takes all of that away: sure, someone can come along and look at everything you're currently reading (which has its own set of issues), but you can't lend anyone a book, you can't share a subscription, and you can't even tell someone you loved a passage on a certain page, since the Kindle doesn't use standard page sizes. OK, Amazon. What can we do here?
Learn from iTunes and allow authorizations. Let me authorize multiple Kindles on a single account so that I can share subscriptions and purchases between them. At minimum, allow two authorizations, which would cover several households; better yet, allow up to four or five. This lets me share a book with a friend, a spouse, a roommate, a parent. This is just a no-brainer. There's no reason to undo the tradition of sharing the Sunday newspaper by tying a subscription to a single device. Let's hurry up with that one, shall we?
Learn from the Microsoft Zune and allow one-time content sharing. Let me use the Whispernet to send another Kindle user an entire book that will expire after two or three days, as a sample. Or, heck, if you want to be stingy, just let me send a chapter. Similarly, let me send bookmarked sections, either Kindle-to-Kindle or via e-mail. I'd love to be able to select a block of text and choose, "e-mail this passage," so I can send particularly poignant text to a friend. This could be a great feature of the Kindle DX: allow limited sharing of helpful textbook passages, or let me play the age-old game of sending newspaper clippings to someone!… Read more
In the U.S., the Amazon Kindle remains the most popular and best known e-reader on the market. But not everyone's ready to pay $360 for the device, and the Kindle doesn't appeal to international readers, because its wireless capabilities don't work overseas. And that's where upstart digital readers like Interead's Cool-er come in.
The product's name was inspired by the concept of a "cool e-reader" and it's the first consumer electronics product from Interead, which has offices in the U.K. and New York and also has a companion online … Read more
When I talked to Interead's CEO and founder Neil Jones a few months ago, he told me his upstart U.K. company was getting ready to launch a new lightweight e-book reader that he was hoping would get some attention in the marketplace for sharply undercutting the price of the Kindle 2. He was going to call the thing the Cool-er, and it would cost $250 and tie into Interead's fledgling e-book store.
Jones was planning a very controlled launch for the product, with a target date set for just before Memorial Day here in the the U.… Read more
Amazon hopes that its new, large-screen Kindle DX will revive the newspaper industry and maybe lighten the load for students lugging around heavy textbooks. Reporter Caroline McCarthy talks to Michelle Meyers about what real impact the new e-book reader could really have.
Also in today's podcast: Americans look to prepaid cellular plans as a way to save money; which PCs and laptops won't support Windows 7's XP mode; and how long before piles of e-waste start to get smaller? Listen now: Download today's podcast
Samsung's upcoming e-book reader, the Papyrus, had its debut at CES in January, but the stylish looking device is now making the rounds in Europe with some new details in tow. What's interesting about it is that it seems to have quite a bit of PDA in it as Samsung's gone with a touch screen (an aluminum stylus is included), and is bundling some utility applications such as a calculator, scheduler, and contacts. The Papyrus is an A5-size e-ink device (it's 5.8 inches by 8.3 inches while the entire Kindle 2 measures 5.3 … Read more
Earlier this month Apple got hit with a lawsuit over an "exploding" iPod Touch. Now it appears to be getting hit with a suit over the exploding e-book market.
A couple of blogs, including Apple Insider, are reporting that a Swiss communications firm, Monec Holding, has filed suit in a Virginia district court. Monec accuses the iPhone maker of "patent infringement, unfair trade practices, monopolization, and tortious interference for allegedly treading on its January 2002 patent No. 6,335,678 titled 'Electronic device, preferably an electronic book.'"
We've never heard of Monec, but the mission … Read more
We've had a lot of CNET readers tell us they're waiting for a little color before they jump onto the e-book reader bandwagon. Well, as one might expect, a little color is going to cost you a lot of dough, as Fujitsu gets set to release its Flepia color e-book reader in Japan with a $1,000 price tag.
In the works for several years, the Flepia has a bigger display than does Amazon's Kindle 2--it has an 8-inch 1,024x768-pixel XGA touch screen that can display 260,000 colors (Fujitsu refers to its e-ink technology … Read more