Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Future of eBooks

At the moment, the eBook is a concept that people are approaching cautiously. The company that appears to be the biggest contender in future success of the eBook is Amazon. Their Kindle looks very similar to something Tandy (Radio Shack) might have built when they were a viable contender in the computer industry, but publishers are supporting it and that is perhaps the most important thing. So, if the eBook proves to be a success, what can we expect from it in the coming years? Here are my predictions.

A color display and sound that is part of the book will probably be some of the first changes that will take place. The only reason that books do not currently have a lot of color pictures is because color printing costs so much more. With a eBook Reader there is no reason that it should cost much at all.

The whole thing encased in plastic. Do you remember the Star Trek Next Generation “pad?” That is what I expect the eBook reader will look like in a few years. It will be thin. It will be cheap enough that a person can have several to lay side by side and compare the text of several different books. It will have a pen interface so that we can write on them. It will be sealed air tight so that a reader can drop it in a swimming pool or a bathtub and will be able to pick it up and keep reading.

Holographic projection with feedback gloves. In a couple of decades, we might have eBooks that we will read like regular books, but rather than holding a pad we will see a 3-d projection and when we reach out to turn the page will feel it on our fingers. But the whole thing will be stored on a small device we carry on our belt.

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