Foldable Readius eBook reader coming by Fall?

readius.jpg

A few hours ago, savvy BBG commenter Stratosfyr — in a comment mostly spent complaining about his mother’s thriftiness and the terrorist applications of ebooks — mentioned another problem with the who ebook reader concept, especially when compared to DAPs: they aren’t pocketable. Yet.

A new eBook reader by Polymer Vision, though, could change that by Fall of 2008, according to the CEO. The Readius eBook reader is a tiny five-inch e-paper display that pulls out like a window shade, capable of producing 16 levels of gray. There’s no price yet and there’s no telling what proprietary DRM soul killers this thing might come with.

Foldable’s a step in the right direction, though I don’t like the form factor of the Readius too much. And then there’s the issue of always-on EVDO connectivity: this really is the Kindle’s killer feature, and any ebook reader without it seems utterly gimped by comparison. But ultimately, until someone figures out how to make a bendable, wafer-thin, touchscreen e-reader display, it’s going to be a choice of one or the other according to personal preference for a while yet

Readius Blog [Official Site via OhGizmo!]

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15 Responses to Foldable Readius eBook reader coming by Fall?

  1. zuzu says:

    @10 Moon

    The point is that e-Readers must support normal PDF books (that can be copied to and fro), not some proprietary DRM’d lock-in format.

    Lifehacker: Copyrighted eBooks in PDF Format at Wowio

    Want a free ebook copy of a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Free ebook site Wowio has five of them, along with lots of other copyrighted fiction, literature, comics, and other works. The site offers the wares through sponsorships, and only limits your downloads to three books per day, 30 per month.

  2. Moon says:

    If they were smart, they would license it to Amazon and let Amazon “kindle” it.

  3. tp1024 says:

    I’ll buy it, no matter what the price – as long as it is below $50. (In words: fifty)

  4. zuzu says:

    If they were smart, they would license it to Amazon and let Amazon “kindle” it.

    Or, they’d let you copy PDF and TXT files to it like a normal USB mass-storage device to load up the e-reader with books and documents.

    p.s. Does Sprint’s GhostNet EVDO work anywhere outside the USA? …like, say, Canada? or Europe?

  5. Anonymous says:

    also, the readius is actually a phone, I dunno if that was made clear, phonemag is the only site I’ve seen with hands on time http://www.phonemag.com/readius-e-paper-3g-cellphone-hands-on-video-02944.php

  6. zuzu says:

    Update: mass-storage should probably be regular SDHC cards, which are now commonly 16GB in size (up to 32GB if you can afford it).

  7. jude says:

    As it happens, the Readius actually will have wireless connectivity, albeit not EVDO but given most text ebooks clock in at 100-200k size, more that sufficient for OTA content downloads

    http://www.readius.com/pocket-ereader/specifications

    google FTW

  8. Moon says:

    So, this product has to fit every possible use? Somebody who wants to read “Programming Erlang” has to be included?

    No. It’s a commercial product that is very good for what it does. And I think that Kindle is about as easy and reliable as you can get. I’ll probably buy one for my tech-adverse 80 year old mother.

    And the more platforms it works on, the better. That’s why they should try to “Kindle” this product.

    /I would think if you wanted to read “Programming Erlang”, you’d want to read it on a laptop, anyway.

  9. Torporous says:

    @13 I’m with you…

    My wife and I bought and use our Dell Axims for ebook reading and I have read more in the last 3 years than I had in the previous 10.

    Its all on Usenet. What gets me is that folk do it all..and its a bunch of work to convert a book…for the love of it.

    Soooo many great books. I am chewing my way through 1400 books (most in the easy to use but acknowledged dead end format .lit) on a 1 gig card right now.

  10. Torporous says:

    On another note..I only learned of OinK after it had been shut down. Sounds like it was an amazing site. I also miss Digital Distractions a lot…so many good food TV shows and the original Columbo series too…

  11. Moon says:

    I don’t want to read books for 1939, Zuzu. I read all those (that I’m interested in) already.

    I want to read NEW books.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have been reading eBooks on my ipaq for 2 years now. I run uBook reader which is awesome and as I have poor eyesight, I put the text size up to 20. I now find it much easier to read on my pda than a real book.

    Oh yeah, and of course it’s also a media player, etc.

    In a related note, I bought my sister a similar ipaq off of eBay for £25.

    PDA from eBay = £25
    Ubook Licence from Gowerpoint = £7
    6000 plus ebooks from usenet = Priceless

  13. arkizzle says:

    Y’know, I would really much rather an inexpensive (e-ink) ebook reader that didn’t include the wireless/evdo/whatever.. I mean, if I could get an upload-any-file ebook reader, for under $100 without any bells and whistles, I would get one in a heartbeat.. I think a lot of people would.

    As it stands, they are all way outta my price range and I have tons of great ebooks going to waste.. (Tor, Cory, Yaar!)
    I used to read a lot of books on my laptop, but it’s a bit of a mission finding time and I won’t take my 17″ MBP out on the bus for obvious reasons.

  14. zuzu says:

    I don’t want to read books for 1939, Zuzu. I read all those (that I’m interested in) already. I want to read NEW books.

    Setting aside the brazillion PDFs of copyrighted books (and comic books) that are available online, many publishers legitimately sell non-DRM’d PDF versions of their books, such as the one I bought of Joe Armstrong’s Programming Erlang published by the Pragmatic Programmers.

    e-Readers are like iPods, most people want to fill them up mostly with data that likely infringed copyright (and that likely those people never would have paid for regardless, due to opportunity cost). But once the playback hardware is ubiquitous, legitimate services should emerge and compete based on quality assurance and convenience compared to the necessarily hit-or-miss nature of ad-hoc illicit distribution.

    In other words, most people do prefer easy and reliable over learning how to join the new flavor of underground bittorrent tracker to get what they want. But “easy and reliable” necessarily precludes any form of DRM, and realistically means an “all you can eat” flat subscription fee of standard data type (e.g. MP3, PDF, etc.), so that most people will simply be too lazy to bother downloading everything, and instead will just keep paying the monthly for access to the online archive, whenever they want wherever they want. (Again, with digital distribution, it requires a shift in thinking from selling a “product” to selling a service: the provision of actively maintained infrastructure.)

    If OiNK was legal and cost $10/month per person, I bet they would have retained at least 90% of their membership. (They got plenty of donations for providing a service people wanted.)

  15. HotPepperMan says:

    One oversight for me is that it appears designed for right-handed people.

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