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Old 11-07-2006, 06:25 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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IBM secretly working on an e-book device

And now, hold your breath: IBM just has been awarded a patent for an e-book device. Patent 7107533 describes an "electronic book with multimode I/O." Specifically:

An electronic book device runs at least two output mode threads—one graphics, and one audio—such that the device can both graphically display book content, and play the content over a speaker in the device. Annotations can be made audibly or graphically, and user commands can likewise be made audibly or graphically.

You can probably read a lot into this; but seriously, this sounds like another wacky patent filing to me -- since what's oh so new and special about an e-book device that supports more than just written content and provides more than just one means of navigation?

It's perhaps noteworthy that the patent refers to the Open eBook format (as shown in the figure). I don't know what this means, but it could imply that IBM is working together with the IDPF crew on the new e-book standard.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:31 AM   #2
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Can this device work directly in IDPF code? That could mean speed. I wish Adobe could do this with Digital Editions!
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
And now, hold your breath: IBM just has been awarded a patent for an e-book device. Patent 7107533 describes an "electronic book with multimode I/O."
Well, this patent was applied for April 2001, so I'm not sure if IBM is still interested in developing an ebook device of their own.

In the early year or two of the OEBPS specification development (1999-2001), IBM was involved at a low level. But after 2001 or so they seem to have disappeared from the ebook scene entirely.

Today IBM is still involved with business and technical digital publication standards work at OASIS, specifically DITA, DocBook, and OpenOffice.

Even if they are still interested in special hardware to read digital publications for the corporate environment, it is likely they will simply write up the requirements and let someone else design and manufacture the device for them.
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #4
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How much does it cost?

Sorry, I know there's no answer. I just wanted to ask a dumb question.
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Noring
Well, this patent was applied for April 2001, so I'm not sure if IBM is still interested in developing an ebook device of their own.

In the early year or two of the OEBPS specification development (1999-2001), IBM was involved at a low level. But after 2001 or so they seem to have disappeared from the ebook scene entirely.

Today IBM is still involved with business and technical digital publication standards work at OASIS, specifically DITA, DocBook, and OpenOffice.

Even if they are still interested in special hardware to read digital publications for the corporate environment, it is likely they will simply write up the requirements and let someone else design and manufacture the device for them.
Could this mean then that IBM has deliberately tried to slow Sony down?
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