Friday, March 13, 2009

E-Books and their readers

I have often asked myself what the benefit of e-books and their associated hardware is. With incompatible formats (e. g. Amazon's custom format vs. Epub and Adobe's EBook format), being dependent on energy sources, I am convinced that there must be additional benefits. OK, an incorporated search function is a good point to quickly find what you are looking for, but there must be more. For instance, a personal profile that augments itself with every downloaded item and that would allow for personal recommendations of items to buy / download. Once newspapers will start offering their articles in e-book compatible formats, personalization and consideration of current context is another idea, even if the provider does not offer such a feature. Providing a link to social library services, such as LibraryThing, being able to not only read reviews, but also share book recommendations (with alerts from one's own social networks) seems to be interesting. The reader itself does not need to be pimped up a lot for that, it could also use a central broker service offering these features and needs to be able to provide appropriate input and output channels. With WLAN this does not seem to be a problem. So, what do YOU think is the future of e-books and their readers?

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