Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BEA Recap: e-Readers

For my last BEA-related post, I'm going all the way back to a Thursday afternoon panel discussion about e-readers. Representatives from Adobe, Sony, and Stanza (the e-book iPhone application) were present, along with Neil Jones, the CEO of Interead. Notably absent was anyone representing Amazon or the Kindle, and, not surprisingly, the discussion included many anti-Amazon barbs. All the panelists underscored the importance of an open content environment, giving consumers maximum flexibility regarding their e-book sources and use of content on multiple devices.

I've used a Sony Reader and an Amazon Kindle before, so the most interesting part of the discussion for me was the unveiling of the new Cool-er e-reader presented by Neil Jones from Interead (a UK-based company). The Cool-er is less than 6 ounces, making it significantly smaller and lighter than the competing products. It's also available in 8 colors and is marketed as a "lifestyle accessory." Add to all that the relatively low $250 price tag and the open content platform, and the Cool-er becomes quite attractive to a younger, freedom-loving, style-conscious audience. The Cool-er is Mac and PC compatible and has an operating system available in 8 different languages (including two forms of Chinese). With the introduction of the Cool-er, it appears that Sony and Amazon will be facing a hipper, more international competitor in the e-reader market. Check out more details at the Cool-er's website.

5 comments:

Jen - devourer of books said...

I heard about the Cool-ER and am very intrigued. Very interesting that nobody from Amazon was at the BEA E-Reader panel!

Zibilee said...

I really like all the colors and the fact that it is more in my price range than the Kindle.

An Anonymous Child said...

I think I'm perhaps the only one not thrilled that eReaders keep getting thinner and smaller. Part of a book is its texture, its weight and its absolute presence in the readers hand. Under 6 ounces and smaller than the already small Kindle and Sony Reader? That means the screen must be tiny, even inconveniently so. It's good to have diversity in the market, yes, and I'm looking forward to seeing the next edition of Cool-er. I think like with others, wait for the second improved edition to come out. Then let's talk.

Serena said...

the Cool-er sounds like it may be better than the other readers on the market...but I still can't afford one! LOL

Lenore said...

I can't imagine ever ditching "real" books, but I have to admit that the concept of eReaders is finally starting to appeal to me more. I have to try a few of these out for myself to see how comfortable I am with them.