Just yesterday I wrote about a new technology from Cisco to enable people to meet over great distances. Today I discovered that Amazon has released its new product called Kindle.
There has been a dream for a number of years to produce a device that would be similar to a book but yet be electronic. There have been a number of attempts to tackle this market but Amazon’s device looks to be the first device that has the most chance of catching on.
The key features that make it attractive are the ability to display the pages like paper. It is not back lit which apparently is an important measure for not only being readable but also low power usage. Also, it can download new content using existing mobile phone networks. It also has the ability to download content from blogs and web sites like wikipedia.
It has lots of features that would keep most people happy. However, based on its reviews, it appears to be mixed. I would read this as meaning that it is a first generation product and will evolve to satisfy the larger population.
Cost and flexibility seem to be two of the major concerns right now. Both will be taken care of over time.
It is a clever move by Amazon to provide this device. It encourages purchases from Amazon and also ushers in the era of paperless documents for reading on the go. It is certainly worth reading more about it at Amazon’s web page listed above and I would also suggest watching the video to get a taste of how it works.
I would guess that Apple would be watching this closely with the hopes of tackling the paperless document space. It has the potential to be quite huge. If the device was simple and cheap enough, it would be useful to everyone. It could get to the point that newsagents and bookstores would need to specialize more in wireless distribution than physical media.
As a strange twist, this kind of technology would enable online bookstores on airplanes. It is impractical to carry books on the plane to sell but it is entirely possible to sell electronic documents over a wireless network. Perhaps this idea is not so great considering that a mobile phone network would not be allowed on the plane.
Anyways, it’s a cool idea and apparently its time has come. It would be useful to have a device that could hold multiple books and would not require cutting down a tree to read them. It is a taste of the future.
From a Citrix point of view, this device would enable remote reading of any of the Citrix documentation. This would be a boon to system engineers and system administrators that would not have to carry around laptops to the various locations. As this platform becomes more flexible, it is not hard to imagine that it would be used for the next generation Blackberry-like device. At this point, it is clear that it is not based on being an input device given the unusual small keyboard layout (which appears to be there mostly for search).
For those of you that like to be on the cutting edge, you better hurry up and buy one. For the rest of us, I would recommend waiting for the next generation which hopefully will have a cheaper cost and a better story for handling PDF files.