digital books

Posted by Otis Chandler on July 9, 2007
People are often asking me what the future of digital books is. I don't really know, so I usually spout something about Sony's eReader, and how it uses "digital ink" so it doesn't seem like you're reading a computer monitor. The truth is of course that people love their books, and will never let go them. There truly is something about curling up with a good book that is ingrained into each of us, and "a good ereader" will just never take the place of that for most of us.

Personally, I find myself reading digital versions of books that are digestible in chunks: mostly technical manuals, news articles, and such. I think that trend will continue.

But I just read about a cool innovation from Manolis Kelaidis, who recently presented the keynote speech at last months O'Reilly Tools of Change Conference. Manolis has used a conductive ink to print books, and hooked the book up to a computer using bluetooth. This way you can make an interactive experience out of a regular printed book. Its not quite the ebook experience, but its a pretty powerful step in that direction. Its also probably quite expensive, so don't expect to see it in every edition of the next Harry Potter book.

There is a good post about it here.


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