Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A First Look at Barnes and Noble's E-Reader?

A Kindle/iPhone Chimera?
Barnes and Noble's late to e-books. But the company's new gadget—first seen here—should address the weaknesses of all other readers with multiple screens, each playing to tech strengths. A source from within reveals the first photos and details.

The Barnes and Nobles e-reader project, set to be revealed next week, has been under development for years, with several devices of varying size and capability in the pipeline. First rumors said it would have a color e-ink screen. Then people said it didn't. They were both kind of right: The layout will feature a black and white e-ink screen like the Kindle has—and a multitouch display like an iPhone underneath. Pow!

What's interesting is that B&N will sell the books it also publishes (yes, remember, they are also a publisher and not just a store) at a deep discount compared to print editions. And the device will have some sort of access to all books scanned by the Google Books project; probably books that are out of print.
Follow the link for more photos and descriptions.

If this is correct and implemented well, the incorporation of both types of screens into one device is fantastic. It's one of those ideas that is simultaneously so simple and brilliant it makes you wonder: "why didn't I think of that?"

The color screen at the bottom opens up all kinds of possibilities of additional uses and applications for the reader. If the rumors are true and this device is running Android, it would be an extra stroke of brilliance to open up some type of app store along with a book store. If this device was opened to developers, I'm sure they could think of some incredibly creative ways to take advantage of the dual screen.

Like I've said before, the eBook wars are really starting to heat up. I think we are swiftly approaching a tipping point and that the entire eBook industry will be radically different (in a very good way) within a year from now.

Bring on the competition!

1 comment:

thinking said...

If this leak is true, then B&N will leapfrog over the Kindle.

And add to that the marketing weight that comes with being able to demonstrate the products at all of the brick and mortar stores.

That cannot be underestimated. Apple sells a ton more products thanks to their retail stores and the fact that so many people get to play with the actual product.

If BN is smart they will not only display the item in their stores, but give it the Apple treatment: have at least a few out that people can actually play with, and give it a jazzy display area of its own.