Friday, January 8, 2010

Kurzweil casts his vote and backs it up with "Blio"

Text-to-speech pioneer and inventor Ray Kurzweil has cast his vote in the e-Reader debate in favor of a convergence device. What's more, he's putting his software where his mouth is. CNET is reporting that Kurzweil is behind a new software from KNFB Reading Technology called "Blio", a full-color e-Reader for your laptop. You might recall this post where I asked when we would begin taking full advantage of the digital domain rather than just reinventing the printing press with electrons instead of ink. Kurzweil answers this call with an emphatic statement -- Blio not only reads to you, it has the capacity to integrate animation, video, audio and other additional content. For better or worse, this is not the paper-replicating e-Reader you've come to expect. This is a bit of a reinvention of the e-Book from the ground up. Additionally, according to reporting by All Tech Considered (NPR), the innovative new software has already secured audio rights to a significant catelogue, perhaps learning from the Kindle Text-To-Speech debacle. Despite a burgeoning market in "More of the same" Kindle clones, it feels good to know that not everyone is running with the pack. Blio is due to hit the shelves next month.
Scott Walker Perkins writes literary thrillers and blogs on the interface between technology and literary culture. His current novel is The Palimpsest and he is working on another tentatively titled 42 Lines. Email:

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).