November 11, 2008

Talking eBooks anyone?

Original Post from January 7th 2008.

This article from Engadget discusses the possibility of a new eBook reader this year that can read text as you pass a pen/stylus over the text.

It states it's going to be targeted at the education market, presumably younger children learning to read I imagine. If so, it sounds reminiscent of the LeapFrog books ("LeapPad") that kids can read and with the stylus hear the words pronounced, or explained, etc. Then the difference would be that the physical part of the book for display is not printed, but downloaded electronically.

I really can't see much benefit for it if that's not the target market, except maybe a niche in learning languages or something similar. If you can think of more, then let me know in the comments...

In general I don't really (personally) associate reading and the spoken word, and haven't been able to make the jump to audio books yet despite the desire to make use of significant hours spent in the car driving.

To be honest, I struggle to imagine what listening to an audio book feels like as I can't remember people reading to me (I'm sure they did as a child, but I just can't remember it...)

Maybe this year I'll mix-in some audio books on my iPod with my usual podcasts and see how that goes.

Any comments or experience of reading/text and audio or audio books (including recommendations) are welcome!

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