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Re: [ebook-community] pen-based ebook reading?

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  • Chris Smith
    ... reading ebooks. Few programs seem to support the kind of pen-based reading that many people do on paper, and I m wondering why... ... I agree, and I think
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 1, 2004
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      Bill Janssen said:
      >
      > I thought I'd ask what people think about the future of pen usage in
      reading ebooks. Few programs seem to support the kind of pen-based
      reading that many people do on paper, and I'm wondering why...
      >
      > I'm currently very pessimistic about the future of pen-based input.

      I agree, and I think I can point to some specfic reasons why. First, pen
      and paper is a 'micro-distributed technology'. Paper is the same
      everywhere on the page, so it can be cheaply manufactured in bulk. LCDs
      and LEDs do not share this feature. LCDs in particular are a combination
      of several technologies, and they must be combined and aligned in order to
      get the desired results. LEDs (OLEDs in particular) seem more likely to
      achieve mass manufacturing capabilities, but even there, every single dot
      on the paper is a specific dot in manufacturing.

      Touch-screen interaction compounds this issue. To see some problems, see
      http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/archives/000707.html for an example of
      how touchscreens must absolutely be correct, and how they may not work
      properly due to user interaction oddities. In this regard, touchscreens
      may never achieve the consistency at low cost needed for mass market ebook
      handling.

      The display technology is a tougher problem, but I would suggest looking
      at http://www.thefeature.com/article?articleid=101184&ref=3974715 to get
      an idea of where the techology could go. Virtual retinal displays,
      particular the scanning type, share the same advantages as original black
      and white television -- they are mechanically simple, creating their
      complexity out of the timing of their signals, not out of an expensive
      manufacturing process.

      Of course, it will be rather difficult to integrate a virtual retinal
      display with touchscreen operations. A "poke in the eye with a sharp
      stick" is closest to being a working model, and I don't think user
      acceptance is going to work in its favour.

      Finally, separation of the input and output channels often makes handling
      accessibility issues much more straightforward. By comparison, note that
      fully blind individuals will have some difficulties editing a standard
      ink-on-paper document. Solutions -- and small parts of larger solutions --
      that have broader use will see a greater push to use and deployment. This
      applies for all users - as in the example of a cellphone or PDA with no
      touch-screen, but with an optional add-on keyboard for those times you
      want to edit rather than just read.

      ...chris
    • Michael Hart
      I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC that seems to have all the features anyone could want,
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 1, 2004
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        I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable
        non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC that seems to have
        all the features anyone could want, including, but not limited to:

        hi-res color [good enough for medical slides

        handwriting recognition good enough for medical handwriting
        [and you could LEAVE it in your handwriting, if you wanted]

        big enough ard drive [last year 40G, now larger]

        optional keyboard, mouse, etc.


        The only real trouble for me is the $2,000 pricetag.


        Michael
      • Bill Janssen
        ... As I pointed out in my original piece on this subject, that s the real trouble for everyone. Take away the pen and touch screen, and it s just a $1000
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 1, 2004
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          > I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable
          > non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC
          ...
          > The only real trouble for me is the $2,000 pricetag.

          As I pointed out in my original piece on this subject, that's the real
          trouble for everyone. Take away the pen and touch screen, and it's
          just a $1000 laptop.

          What's a non-demonstration?

          Bill
        • Michael Hart
          ... It wasn t a demo by Fujitsu, just someone who does lectures and teaching with one of these [to a class who also uses them]. I was pretty impressed, with
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 2, 2004
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            On Mon, 1 Nov 2004, Bill Janssen wrote:

            >
            >> I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable
            >> non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC
            > ...
            >> The only real trouble for me is the $2,000 pricetag.
            >
            > As I pointed out in my original piece on this subject, that's the real
            > trouble for everyone. Take away the pen and touch screen, and it's
            > just a $1000 laptop.
            >
            > What's a non-demonstration?

            It wasn't a demo by Fujitsu, just someone who does lectures and teaching
            with one of these [to a class who also uses them].

            I was pretty impressed, with everything but the price, as usual.

            I was taking _MY_ notes on my PDA with fold-up full size keyboard,
            and will beam my notes to a friend who couldn't make it.

            I also gave away some 10,000 Project Gutenberg eBooks, and showed
            off a couple new DVDs I have that each contain about 20,000 eBooks.

            I LOVE being able to make and snailmail 20,000 eBooks for $1 !!!

            ;-)


            Thanks!!!


            Nice To Hear From You!


            Michael


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