Sunday, January 23, 2011

File under "why am I not seeing this for sale yet?"


I still haven't found the $50 e-reader I'm looking for, but I expect to see something along those lines this year now that tablets and other small-screen devices are the new black. I'm toying with the idea of just going with a cheap Android tablet.

But it also occurs to me that there's an obvious e-reader market that doesn't seem to have any sellers yet: Goggles!

I understand that there are technical and consumer acceptance hurdles to get over in marketing a full-scale "wearable" computer system. Most people don't want to play Minesweeper or read a spreadsheet through goggles.

But reading a book ... well, the main reason I want an e-reader is so that I can curl up in bed with a novel.

The current generation of e-readers makes sense for that in that they're basically book-size, book-shape, book-weight and so forth.

But what would make even more sense for it (maybe) would be a set of goggles with back-lit screens that fit right over the eyes, and controls either on the earpieces (press your right temple to page forward, left to page back, etc.) or maybe on a wired or wireless remote control.

That way you don't even have to hold the damn "book." Just lie back, read, and maybe the thing shuts down if you doze off and don't press one of the buttons every 15 minutes or something.

I'm not seeing any great technical barriers to that. Size and weight, including battery weight, don't seem to be a problem for that kind of thing any more, and presumably LCD screens that can manage e-book type presentation are getting pretty cheap since they're in everything now.

But I'm not finding anything like that for sale. Why?

PS: If you're an e-reader manufacturer or seller, one alternative to the $50 e-reader is a review copy of a more expensive model. [Cough. Shuffle feet. Stare into distance and whistle.]

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