Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge, Trade Name: Book

In the modern age of the e-book, we do not readily equate the simple pulp-based book with technology, but the paper book is unarguably one of the greatest technological advances in the history of humanity. Humbly serving for the past two millennia as the retainer of and disseminator of human knowledge, it is only surpassed by the alphabet that makes possible the ideas it holds, and the printing press that makes it so readily available. The brief piece of prose that follows comically helps remind us of this.  There are several version of this on the web; this one is from a library colleague.  I have also posted a video version below.

Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade named: BOOK.

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here’s how it works:

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

Unlike other display devices, BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, and it can even be dropped on the floor or stepped on without damage. However, it can become unusable if immersed in water for a significant period of time. The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session — even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKmarkers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.


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The Future of E-Readers: The enTourage eDGe

source: enTourage eDGe

source: enTourage eDGe

A few weeks ago, I posted on Sony’s new economical Pocket Edition e-reader.   With a price tag of $199.99, it makes the move from pulp-based paper to digital e-paper bearable.  In that post, I noted that my concern with e-readers has always been their lack of functionality and versatility.  They are mostly designed for one thing: reading books.  However, a truly unique device will be hitting the market in the next few months.  The enTourage eDGe is the first dual netbook and e-reader device in one.

At $490, the price is relatively significant, but the functionality is impressive. It has a clam like case that opens to reveal two separate screens.  One is a dedicated e-reader and the other is a dedicated netbook. Powered by Google’s Android operating system, one can browse the web, send and receive email, listen to mp3’s, and watch videos on one screen, and on the other screen read a book, takes notes in the margins, or write, with a stylus, their thoughts and notes on a lined piece of e-paper. This is the most innovative and promising e-reader device that I have seen.

Sony E-book Reader for Cheap (Sort of)



For a long time, I looked askance at e-readers. Before the Sony Reader, Amazon’s Kindle, and now Barnes & Noble’s Nook, there was over a decade of hype and failed products. There is also the price barrier. The top end Sony Reader (Daily Edition) retails for $399.99. For a long time, I thought why pay a substantial sum for a dedicated machine when for just a few hundred dollars more I can have a multifunction laptop on which I can read a book, surf the web, and do my finances all at the same time.(?)

However, the Sony Reader Pocket Edition has caused me to rethink my position. For those who are as financially challenged as myself in these tough times, it retails for $199.99. A much easier number to absorb, it weights 7.76 ounces, includes a 5 inch display, and with 512mb of memory it can carry up to 350 books at a time. Thanks to this machine, my e-reader prejudices are starting to recede.