Trying to think a bit outside the box or at least change my conception of the box 06.02.2009, 3:02 AM
posted by bob stein
There's endless talk these days about ebook readers, Kindle and all its e-ink cousins, and future tablets from Apple and other phone makers. There's nothing wrong with the fact that these devices are all designed to emulate the experience of reading printed material, but this is a starting point not the end point. The forms are going to evolve in ways we can't imagine and they may not be best served by 2-D paper emulators.
Reading this description of new functionality in Microsoft's XBox, I started wondering whether as game box evolves into an all-purpose "entertainment hub" which is thoroughly integrated into major social networks, whether it might extend it's reach to host new forms of (social) reading. if a "book is a place" perhaps one strand of the near future will be to explore that space with a joystick. I hadn't thought about it before, but perhaps the interview of me in This Spartan Life is a thought experiment in this direction. It would be interesting to re-imagine The Golden Notebook project which proved the viability of an asynchronous reading group as taking place inside of a virtual space where sometimes you would really be "with" other readers and sometimes on your own.
The article that kicked off this little reverie is from this morning's MIT Technology Review is about a new camera/controller for Microsoft's X-Box. The sentences that caught my attention:
Microsoft also debuted 10 exclusive new games and the ability to access social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as well as streaming music service Last.fm on the Xbox Live service. The popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter will be fully integrated into Xbox Live beginning this fall.
There were several announcements about the Xbox 360's video capabilities including increased functionality with the online Netflix service, 1080p high-definition video downloads, live TV in the United Kingdom and the ability to watch movies online with friends.
Posted by bob stein on June 2, 2009 3:02 AM
Bryan Alexander on June 2, 2009 4:17 PM:
Perhaps such rich social environments for reading will proceed asynchronously. Think of, say, Goodreads, with avatars and associated stuff.
Mary Ann on December 13, 2009 11:36 PM:
I was skeptical paying $360 for the Kindle2. But, I have been using it for a few days now and I am beginning to wonder how I lived without it. I can honestly say that it is changing my life.
I have always been a big reader but have hated the nuisance of paper. Newspapers are the worst, and I do not miss all the folding and re-folding and RE-FOLDING while I try to read the newspaper and eat breakfast at the same time. Now, when I wake up (around 5:30am), my local newspaper (SJ Mercury) is already waiting for me on the Kindle and I can easily navigate the news with one hand while eating breakfast with the other.
The two biggest features (for me) are the different font sizes and the new text-to-speech feature. I have started "listening to the newspaper" as I drive to work in the morning.
I am looking forward to bringing my new Kindle travelling this year and helping me keep my New Year's Resolution that I would read a book a week (I have a little catching up to do).
My niece is getting one of these as a graduation gift...shhhhhhhh...