Toward a More Touchable E-Book

Even though I’d already read about Tim O’Reilly’s experience, when I first picked up my new Kindle, I did the exact same thing: I touched the screen, assuming it would respond like my iPhone. Of course, it didn’t, and I’m still clumsily trying to avoid accidentally hitting the Most Enormous Buttons Ever, triggering an inadvertent page turn. Another big complaint is the included case, from which my Kindle is constantly escaping.

Engadget has coverage of an e-Book concept that aims to address both concerns (thanks to Peter Brantley for the link):

Pages can be turned by sliding your finger from corner to corner, though double- and triple-finger gestures will advance the book by ten and 50 pages, respectively. Most notable for real book fans is the inclusion of a leather stitched cover, meant to evoke the look and feel of the device’s analog counterpart.

That strong connection between a "reading device" and the book (aka, low-tech reading device) it’s meant to replace was apparent in the response to the student project we saw from Manolis Kelaidis at TOC 2007.

Personally, neither of these two complaints of mine about the Kindle stem from a desire to have a more book-ish experience; I’ve just been trained to expect a touch screen by the iPhone — I found myself trying to touch my iPod recently — and just about anything of value that I carry around with me (especially while traveling) is going in a case. (In fact, I’m quite convinced that the first time I bring my case-escaping-Kindle on a plane, something bad will happen.)

tags: ,