Tuesday, March 29, 2011

E-readers -- Yes, but do questions remain?

On some topics I claim some expertise and on others just interest. I have not delved into the Nook, Kindle, iPad e-reader technologies, nor have I monitored popularity trends toward these technologies. It is as an uniformed outsider that I pose the question, "What happens if the technology you buy into does not survive?"

Does anybody remember the VHS / Beta wars? VHS was declared the winner but few of them still survive today. How about the game system wars? Which did you choose: Atari, Sega, or Nintendo? How is that holding up today?

If content and format are unique to the device and the device is replaced, what do you have? I only offer questions on this topic but am intrigued by this video about technologies I have never heard of before: Nelson, Coupland and Alice. They sound like people's names but they appear to offer another alternative to traditional e-readers.

I do not doubt for a moment that the future is in digital formats. I am fairly confident that after the Christmas rush this year a large percentage of human readers in our country will own some form of digital reader. Scanning library forums, it is apparent that many libraries are buying into current technologies. I am not questioning this direction, but the path.

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?
Perhaps my questions are the irrelevant ramblings of the ignorant and if I better understood the technology they would not pass my lips. I wish this were so and beg any who read this post to correct me if my thought process is wrong. I also welcome comments of agreement and clarification if I am correct.

I promise to pay more attention and to pursue this technology in the near future. I look forward to the experience of reading my first digital book on a reader. For today though, I ask, please educate me.

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