Ebooks are all the rage now. I worked @ Kurzweil Technologies on the Blio ebook reader software application that runs on many platforms with plans to run on more machines. Kid’s books were really cool on the Blio, since the software could read out loud to you while highlighting the current word like a sing-along bouncing ball.
Even Apple is pushing the iPad as a book reading machine. Like the Blio, Apple has some great apps for kids that even respond to the reader’s touch. It can be difficult to discern app from book, but the discerning is fun.
Apple and Kurzweil have also been producing a different kind of eReader for a lot longer. They’ve both been on the forefront of reading for the blind, and providing usability on computers and machines to those who are normally left out.
The tablet and iPad readers use a lot of power because of their screen technology. The eInk readers with their long battery life seem to be winning the ‘device’ game. The Blio wasn’t a device, but free software with a bookstore(s). The iPad is more like the Blio software, where the device has to be charged almost daily, rather than weekly as typical of the eInk readers.
There’s a benefit to both, where eInk is low power the tradition LCD screens are much more brillant and colorful. Personally, my idea for the ultimate tablet is two sided. One side with eInk and the other color LCD. Innovation is still coming to reading machines.