Thursday, December 20, 2007

Star Trek Next Generation Comes True!

When I was a kid, I used to catch the occasional episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation". I would not call myself a Trekker or Trekkie, but I liked and enjoyed the show. In the waning days of bachelor hood, my room mate and I used to watch old episodes of Voyager on DVD till the wee hours of the night. One of the things I loved about the show were the props, I equally enjoyed how many of the visions of the future displayed in the shows are now coming true, with intelligent desks and massive touch screen displays on the near horizon. Another wonderful toy the crews used to use were these digital tablets that contained all kinds of information, including complete libraries of literature from all moments in history and across all cultures... what an awesome thing to have! I always wanted one.

Well, I share this with you, because, thanks to the KINDLE we may finally see this television prop as a reality. Amazon is selling a new device that is marketed exclusively to readers who want something a little more tech oriented. The Kindle is a Web Connected Wireless device that allows you to download digital books directly to the device through a free wireless service. It also constantly updates news papers and blogs for your viewing pleasure. The Kindle also has what is billed as an 'electric-paper screen' which allows for a brighter view that looks to the human eye like real paper.

In my humble opinion this is a very overlooked gadget that did not get a lot of hype, but quietly sold out at the Amazon store. The best part about he device is that you can acquire product directly to the device without having to download to a computer first and syncing like an iPod, or without have to pay a service subscription fee. What more, the books you download are on average about %50 cheaper to purchase.

Unfortunately, this gadget is on major back order, and rumor has it, that even if you purchase it now you would not see it on your doorstep until February. Also the price tag is hefty at $399.99 a pop, but none the less, this is a great step in the right direction for the literature industry... finally books along with music and video will be available for instantaneous consumer satisfaction via a digital format. What remains to be seen is whether or not big box retailers like Barnes and Noble or Borders would follow suit with a similar product. Based on sales, I think it may be only a matter of time.

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