WikiReader scratches sudden Wikipedia urges
New palm-size, touch-screen device lets you tote Wikipedia around without needing an Internet connection. But would anyone really need this in an age of smartphones?
Now, this is rather odd. Taiwan-based OpenMoko is out with WikiReader, a palm-size, touch-screen device that lets you tote 3 million text-only Wikipedia articles around offline. Given that we're in the smartphone age, we're not quite sure who would jump for this thing.
We also tend to agree with Thomas Meyerhoffer, a former Apple designer known for his unique surfboards. He designed the WikiReader and thinks the gadget could prove a handy learning tool for kids.
"Because it's offline and offers parental controls, the whole experience happens within the device," he said. "I can give this to my 9-year-old, and I know he's only going to get content that is fine for him to read."
The WikiReader--which launched Tuesday and is available for $99 at the WikiReader Web site and Amazon--runs on two AAA batteries that the company says will last for months due to the gadget's lack of a backlight.
Articles (in English only for now) are stored on a microSD card. Updates for the device are provided quarterly and can be downloaded for free from the WikiReader Web site. A yearly subscription plan for updated microSD cards is also available for $29.
OpenMoko, you may recall,earlier this year in the development of its open-source FreeRunner smartphone.