Wearable eReaders? What’ll They Think of Next?
Photo from Freakingnews.com
Just last week, San Francisco based startup Scribd launched a new partnership to make HarperCollins’s titles available to their subscribers for just $8.99 a month, positioning it “as a sort of Netflix for the book space”. Scribd can be read on a number of devices, ranging from iPads and other tablets to PCs and smartphones, although a couple of (perhaps) surprising exceptions mean it’s not available on Kindle or Nook.
In an interview with Fast Company Scribd CEO Trip Adler suggested in the future, we won’t be reading eBooks in our hands — “they’ll be projected right in front of our eyes”.
"If we’re going to build hardware, the thing we want to do is build reading goggles, so you can do hands–free reading,” Adler says. “It’s a little bit of a crazy idea, and I think it’s a long way away for us, but there is already a number of eReaders out there, and I don’t think people need yet another device.”
He believes the future of eReaders is more likely to be something like Google Glass, as holding heavy tablets or books is “cumbersome” — ‘hands-free’ is the way to go.
"Holding a book you’re reading is kind of old school,” he explains. “You should be able to just read on your back looking at the ceiling, with the reading experience probably projected in front of [your eyes].”
This technology is still a way off, with a lot of details to be worked out, although the advent of Google Glass may hasten this scenario. I don’t know, Neal Stephenson called people who are immersed in technology all the time “gargoyles” in his novel Snow Crash, and I still feel a bit of that scorn when I look at people wearing Google Glass. Would you “wear” your eReader? And haven’t we been promised virtual reality since the year dot? Excuse me while I go pick up a book.
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