How will the Kindle become more multipurpose?

From: http://ireaderreview.com/2010/02/04/kindle-incrementally-improving-reading-service/

The standard argument is that devices that have ‘good enough’  reading will kill devices that ‘do nothing except reading’.

1. The mistake here is that people who don’t really read are trying to predict what people who read a lot will do.
2. To compound matters they are making predictions without enough experience with the Kindle.

Here are a few examples of what the ‘good enough’ argument sounds like to people who love to read and have actually bought and used an eReader –

1. Eye Lenses are going to be replaced with multi-purpose lenses that also function as computer screens and television screens. They won’t give you 20/20 vision any more – However, they’ll be good enough.
2. Cars will double up as treadmills. Their top speed will only be 50 mph – However, you can both exercise and drive at the same time.
3. Windows are going to be replaced by Multi-function walls that switch between being windows, blinds, and walls. They only let in half as much light – However, that’s okay because you can use them as a wall.

If those examples seem far-fetched it’s probably because you’re not the target audience for eReaders.

I think the examples regarding multipurpose devices are apt. Get the camera off my cell-phone and get the digital planners off my Kindle!

Personally, I do see the Kindle becoming more feature rich in the future. The signs are their with Amazon’s recent acquisition of a touch screen technology. Personally, I’d rather see the Kindle be more intuitive to use and include multipurpose use that keeps it a single-purpose device. Is that an oxymoron? I don’t think so. Here are some examples:

  • Writing, word processing, note-taking
  • Basic web, download of web pages for reading
  • Support for blogs, blogging
  • Support for book discussion, analysis (user-added content)

The Kindle App store may flesh some of these out, but I’d only love to see touch-screen soft-keyboards, handwriting, etc. if it does not come at the cost of readability and device longevity.

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