Top Tech Trends – Ebook Readers and the iPad

I was a panelist at PLA 2010’s Top Tech Trends session, and talked about ebook readers and the ipad as a top tech trend to watch in 2010. Here’s my outline for the session:

Ebook Readers and the iPad:

  • ebooks have been around wince 1971! that’s when the gutenberg project started!
  • 1998 – first ebook readers appeared

how many different models are there?

  • at least 20 different manufacturers

over 2 million free ebooks

  • 15 different file formats!
  • kindle, txt, epub, html, pdf, etc
  • epub
    • open free format – not proprietary
    • css, xml styling
    • default standard, not everyone (ie., kindle) uses it

Operating Systems on ebook readers:

  • linux
  • android
  • windows mobile/win ce
  • iphone OS

size

  • most are 6-8 inches or so
  • mobile version – iphone is an ebook reader, other phones

e-ink or LCD

  • e-ink – imitates the look and ease of readability of print while consuming little power

memory

  • most are in gigabytes
  • holds hundreds of books

connectivity

  • wifi
  • cellular networks
  • price – 150 to 750
still sorta like the 90s with cell phone or PDAs

why did I pick this for a top tech trend when they’ve been around for so long?
Apple likes to change things
  • Mac – changed the computer industry – mouse and GUI were pretty obscure untilt hat first mac came along in 1984
  • ipod – changed the music industry – pricing, formats, size, etc., mp3 players
  • iphone – changed the cell phone industry
    • touch screen
    • more than just a cell phone – games, internet, browsers, ipod, movies, calendar, email, twitter, facebook, etc, etc, etc
    • many copycats

iPad will do the same thingĀ  – but to what industry?

  • gaming and movies
  • will probably change the ebook industry
    • better ebook reader
    • more like a book – flip the pages by touch
    • color
    • great screen
    • turn the thing to flip the screen
    • accessibility built in
    • and 5 of the 6 largest publishers are already on-board.

why?

  • money – they’ve seen itunes and the app store and want in

What might we have by end of 2010?

  • The iPad ships on April 3
  • iPad will be on version 2-3 by the end of 2010
  • will have made millions of publishers millions of dollars, Apple even more
  • price will have probably dropped
  • more publishers will be using the epub format (and wanting into itunes store)
  • copycats will start to appear

Issues for libraries to consider:

our patrons will start buying iPads soon.

  • does it work with Overdrive?
  • does it work with our catalogs?
  • can patrons plug them into your PCs?

staff issues

  • can your staff use them to help patrons who own one?

library stuff

  • can patrons check them out?
  • can your library buy them for patrons to use/check out?
  • battery life -do you charge the battery before handing them out to patrons? Do you have a place for multiple devices to be charged behind the circ desk (or wherever you might keep them)?

bigger issues

  • content licensing and DRM