The fourth and newest iteration of the Amazon Kindle has just been released. Even though we appreciate its improvements over the Kindle 3 (which now goes by the name “Kindle Keyboard
“), we cannot help but feeling somewhat disappointed. One gets the impression that Amazon is drip-feeding adepts of e-reading with a slightly improved device, rather than taking the plunge and looking to come up with truly revolutionary features.
What actual users are looking forward in the perfect Kindle
Sure enough, there are likely a slew of financial and technological limitations which make it wise for Amazon to roll out improvements gradually, and to keep releasing a new model every other year. But regardless of the fact, and because our role at this blog is not to engineer but rather to imagine… let’s see what would make the ultimate e-Book reader. If someone from Amazon is reading this, do us all a favor and take notice, will you?
So it’s not like most books rely on colors that much, right? It’s not as though we really *need* color in our e-readers. But it certainly would be nice, not to mention that it would open a whole new world of options. Reading magazines and comic books would be possible, as well as reading poli-chromatic charts and graphs. Further, we know for a fact the technology is functional and available, so we cannot help but wonder… why are we still stuck to gray-scale in our Kindle? And no, the Kindle Fire doesn’t count, since it feature a regular screen as opposed to a color e-Ink display.
One of the greatest features about electronic paper is how it does not use much energy, which allows e-readers to boast an amazing autonomy. You can go through a month of reading without having to recharge your Kindle, which is great! Plus, this technology is great for outdoors reading under direct sunlight. So we cannot help but imagine… why doesn’t the Kindle feature a solar panel that would allow its battery to recharge gradually? With such a feature, it might be possible to spend months on end without having to plug the Kindle into a USB port or electrical socket… and e-readers would be a step closer to substituting regular books.
Improved Table of Contents
The Kindle Touch includes a new feature called “X-Ray” which allegedly allows reader to glimpse the structure of a book. You can use it to visualize the passages and chapters in which specific characters are mentioned, and it links directly to wikipedia as a source of reference. Way to go Amazon! This is probably the most interesting feature in the latest Kindle, software-wise… and we’re hoping you can make it even better in the future. A full-fledged table of contents that would allow collaborative editing, in which users could summarize parts of the book, wiki-style… now there’s a concept!
This is another aspect of the Amazon Kindle that was broadly improved in the newest version. The Kindle Touch is significantly faster than the Kindle Keyboard, when it comes to searching text inside a document and adding personal notes. Regardless of the fact, it’s nowhere as fast or responsive as an iPad or a computer. If you really want to make a perfect e-reader, you have to think of a way to work around this issue, Amazon! Sure enough, a powerful processor eats away at battery life much faster… but where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
Slightly Larger Screen
For some reason, it seems to have been decided that 6″ is the perfect screen size for a portable e-reader. We’re sure there is plenty of research backing up this design decision, but honestly? We feel this screen size is just a little bit on the small side. At least 7″ would be ideal to read content with picture in it, or even browsing the Internet comfortably. Otherwise, we feel there should be a medium-sized Kindle that falls in between the regular model and the DX version.
This is without a doubt the hottest feature in our wish-list, and also the most improbable. At least for the next decade or so, while the cost of e-Ink displays does not go down significantly. But seriously, for the Kindle (or any e-reader, for that matter) to get a real chance of substituting regular books, it will have to feature multiple pages than can be actually leafed through. How great would that be, if the future Kindle looked just like a regular hard-bound book with dozens of pages in it, that could be repopulated at the flick of a button? Such a device could even include a soft cellulose scent, to genuinely come across as a traditional book… think about the possibilites!
For the time being, we cannot help but wonder what the future holds for electronic readers. If you would like to see more information and reviews on the latest e-readers available on the market, check this out. And sure enough, we are quite grateful for this technology, since it’s genuinely useful and interesting, since it allows a very natural and comfortable reading experience. We envision a future where e-readers will be just as common and widespread as MP3 players or tablets, and we have a feeling it won’t take much longer to get there!