Sunday, September 21, 2008

New e-Ink Reader: coming soon

As a person living with quadriplegia I loathe reading the morning paper. I begin with a headline and maybe one paragraph, my interest is now captured, and before you know it the editor forces me to continue the article in another section, on another page, and then find the right column in order to continue reading. And all the while, I struggle to manage an unwieldy and awkwardly sized, flimsy and dirty bunch of paper; I hate it! To address my issues with the medium of newspaper, I have been searching for the right solution by following the development and marketing of e-Ink readers, mainly the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and iRex iLiad e-Reader. I was excited the other day to read that more competition is on the horizon, though this newcomer promises to focus on a different niche--the needs of the business reader.
The Plastic Logic reader supports a full range of business document formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and Adobe PDFs, as well as newspapers, periodicals and books. It has an easy gesture-based user interface and powerful software tools that will help business users to organize and manage their information. Users can connect to their information either wired or wirelessly and store thousands of documents on the device. The reader incorporates E Ink technology for great readability and features low power consumption and long battery life. The Plastic Logic reader is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2009.
I'll continue to follow developments in the e-Ink/eReader market and report back here and in my column in PN Magazine. And when I finally get my hands on the different options, I'll let you know what I think. Until then, here is a video with a close-up look at the newest guy on the block...enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

“Democratization” of technology: Will it happen?

This political season we are hearing so much about change. I recently wrote, that I am ready to help usher in a new era—the “democratization” of technology. I use the term “democratization,” referencing Daniel Boorstin’s work, The Americans: The Democratic Experience, where Boorstin describes democracy as elevated beyond its definition as a form of government to a filter in which nearly every aspect of modern life was reshaped.

Here's an article that describes new uses of inexpensive "SmartHome" technology leading to a day when we don't actively engage the computer, but passively live with it to improve our lives.

SmartHome uses sensors on home walls, floors, and furniture that connects to a computer. It does not require people to wear monitors or buttons. The sensors send alert signals of falls, medication reminders, and even early disease detections, like arthritis, back to a centralized computer.

Developers said the sensors are affordable and easy to install. They haven’t set specific prices yet to fully install a home, but did say the technology uses sensors priced around $80.

Wow, what times we live in. Read the full article.