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Old 10-10-2008, 05:02 AM   #1
Charbax
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Does it support a HSDPA USB Dongle? Other wireless features needed.

Is there a USB Host port on it, could it support any standard HSDPA USB dongle? Can it have that kind of standard modem interface driver inside of it? Does the previous iRex Illiad have that compatibility?

One core functionality that I would like from an e-ink reader that has wireless and touch-screen annotations functionality, is to use some kind of web service that lets for example several users collaborate on reading and annotation a specific text. For example, several teachers could collaborate to read and rate a students assignment. Several bloggers could collaborate on writing an article (Bluetooth and USB host should support full sized foldable keyboard, and the device or the case for the device should have a stand to put it on the table while you are typing). All the people reading an e-book, should be able to see everyone elses public annotations throughout the whole book. By a simple show/hide annotations button.

Basically, reading an e-book using a wireless e-reader that can annotate, should create a whole world of debate, discussions, comments, annotations around the whole content of every e-book.

Wireless function should work in collaboration with a browser, either a Firefox plugin or a modified Chrome browser. You should be able to shift click or right click on links and on pages that should "Send to E-reader". So for example, do a whole bunch of browsing on your laptop, find a whole bunch of articles and blog-posts that you want to read by simply clicking on them with shift key or by right clicking on them or some other easy combination of clicks. This whole list of selected texts from the web should automatically be then available wirelessly on the e-reader.

RSS reader, APIs to access Google News, Wikipedia reader, Google Blogsearch API, Techmeme API, all these should take advantage of WiFi and HSDPA on the e-reader. And then using a full sized Bluetooth or USB keyboard to type in comments that are for example posted directly to the blog-post or to type in blog-posts to publish directly to your own blog.

Last edited by Charbax; 10-10-2008 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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The DR1000S does not have a host mode USB port. The underlying hardware and system software probably would support this, but it does not seem to be part of iRex's concept of operations for the device. The DR1000SW will have bluetooth and WiFi and a web browser, but collaboration software would have to be from a 3rd party.

The iLiad is the only current EInk device with a host mode USB port. It has not been used with a HSDPA USB dongle so far as I know. The iLiad v2 has WiFi, but iRex does not provide a web browser. There are several 3rd party browsers, but none that I would rely on for heavy duty use.

The nearest device to your needs may be the one from Plastic Logic, available next year - see Plastic Logic Announces Their New Reader. They explicitly mention sharing documents within a conference room, but note that "wireless" may only mean bluetooth and I don't think they have committed to including a web browser (which again suggests no WiFi).

The Plastic Logic and DR1000SW will go head to head in some markets, so perhaps both will improve over time. There may be other entrants too, since the high cost of a 9.7" or larger EInk screen favors fully functional devices (touchscreen, bluetooth, WiFi) with sophisticated software. The sophisticated software part may require a fully open device (perhaps the DR1000SW) or a company with the resources to develop it themselves (Sony or Amazon for example).
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