Introducing the Barnes & Noble “Nook”:
I’m guessing that this is a leak — the “overview” link goes to Brsnoble’s e-book page, and there’s no mention of the “Nook” on the front page.
Also the images refer to it as a “Hero”… development name perhaps?
They found a clever solution around the keyboard problem; e-ink displays are (apparently) incompatible with the surfaces that are used with touch-displays like the Apple iPhone, thus necessitating a chicklet keyboard (like the Kindle) or no keyboard at all (Sony). The “Nook” is instead putting an iPhone-style color display underneath the reading area. It doubles as a browser for full-color book covers. An LCD display is also like a tiny TV underneath the book (update: click to see in action), so I hope that it shuts off during formal reading time. (Of course it also cuts down the “reading space” to the top 3/4 of the device, but that’s no worse than the Kindle.)
I was dismissive of Barnes & Noble’s chances of entering the e-book market with a proprietary device this late in the game, but I think we’re looking at a surprise Christmas hit.
- update: Video featuring a goofball co-ed.
- It runs the Google Android OS (developed for cellphones). Awesome.
- If Nook is successful, there will be two incompatible, competing, DRM-encoded e-book standards. That’s going to be a mess. (I don’t consider Sony’s efforts to be “successful” yet.)
- Barnes & Noble also has iPhone/Blackberry/Mac/PC reading softwares coming out, so you’ll be able to read books on multiple platforms. Like Amazon, they’re more interested in selling books than devices.
- Cross-compatibility between Nook and Sony readers — or even Nook and Kindle — is technically possible, but, as long as they’re “selling the razor blades,” unlikely.
- If the PDF support is any good, you’ll see a lot of used Kindles on eBay overnight.
- Engadget hints that you might get your filthy mitts on one at Best Buy this Thursday.
- “hero implies hero shot… marketing term for that kind of image, as opposed to front/side/back” thanks CharlesV
And hey, great news for book cover designers… your craft will be preserved in the space of a postage stamp.