Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Txtr e-book Reader is on the Horizon

E-book readers are going to be huge. If you prefer paper, that's fine, but trust me, these things are going to be more popular than many folks can imagine. As a matter of fact, the company that makes the digital ink screens for these devices has just announced they have now fabricated over a million screens. Along those lines, there isn't just one great solution and a bunch of also rans. These days, there are preferences available in some that are not in others.


One of the newcomers is Txtr. While the info below says it is aimed at the German market, I would think that would change if sales are successful. I like the hardware for this device. Here is more information:

The German start-up company txtr announces the txtr reader, an e-book reader aimed at the German market, for the 3rd quarter of 2009. The txtr reader will be combined with an online document management platform and offer a complete solution for digital reading, including document storage, publishing and shopping, using a mobile connection (3G/GPRS).

Better than ink on paper. The Berlin start-up company txtr has designed a lightweight and compact digital reading device, based on a 6in electronic ink (eInk)screen. eInk needs no backlight and works by aligning black and white pigment particles in an electric field. eInk looks and reads just like printed paper, with crisp text and images even in bright sunlight.
txtr uses a new display controller that allows for faster rendering of pages and even small animations. Sophisticated power-management has resulted in a very energy-efficient device, and a single charge will last for many days of reading.
The
txtr reader introduces a novel, intuitive user interface. It uses a capacitive touch slider that can be comfortably operated with one hand. A 3D acceleration sensor detects the orientation of the device, and automatically aligns the user interface for portrait, landscape and left-handed mode.
Using SD memory cards, the
txtr reader can store many thousands of books and other documents. It will be delivered with an 8GB SD card with already pre-installed content.

A connected library, always up to date. The txtr reader will be connected to the online document management platform txtr.com using its internal 3G/GPRS modem.txtr.com combines an extensive free library with a personal, protected document collection that can also be shared with friends and colleagues. At the time of the launch, txtr.com will also offer an online store with a large collection of book titles from renowned German publishers.
Unlike many existing e-book readers, the
txtr reader will support open e-book and document formats (such as ePub, PDF, HTML, RSS feeds), as well as office documents (Powerpoint, RTF). With its mobile connection, users can access blogs and online news sources, and take their online library wherever they go.

The open digital reader. The online document platform txtr.com is the perfect companion to the txtr reader. It manages all kinds of digital text formats and supports versioning, automatic sorting and online discussions. Users may rate documents, give recommendations to each other and track changes in text collections via RSS feeds. txtr.com also offers an easy-to-use rights management, so users can secure their private documents, open them to friends or share their publications with everyone. The platform is not just suited for individuals, but includes support for work-groups as well; tools such as BibTex cater to the needs of academic users.
txtr also offers a client for the iPhone, and both device and platform will be open to 3rd party developers. Thus, it will be possible to use txtr.com with other reading devices, and to write new applications for the txtr reader.

Quick facts

  • Freescale ARM CPU (532 MHz),
  • eInk Vizplex display, 800x600 resolution,
  • 1GB flash onboard memory, 8GB SD card with content included,
  • wireless mobile connection via 3G/GPRS to online platform txtr.com,
  • ultra-long battery life,
  • support for audio via bluetooth headset,
  • connection to PC via USB and WiFi,
  • direct document sharing with nearby users via txtr air share,
  • intuitive user-interface, automatically aligned with device,
  • elegant and ergonomic form-factor; outdoor-proof casing,
  • bookstore in a pocket: e-books and digital publications can be purchased online, directly from the device.

About txtr
txtr is an innovative start-up from Berlin. Among the founders: Andreas Steinhauser and Frank Rieger, the successful creators of gate5 AG, a company specializing in software for route planning and personal navigation devices. gate5 has earned several business awards and became a multimedia development hub after its acquisition by Nokia. txtr is going to extend the ways in which we are using electronic documents. txtr's new reading device, announced for 2009, will offer the first open and complete solution for digital reading, including online access, publishing and storage, mobile connectivity and eInk based hardware.

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