Here's something you don't see every day, to put it mildly. Despite the 'i' in the product name, it's not from Apple -- it's an electronic Bible reader and PDA. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Someone has indeed invented such a device.
The Chinese-made gadget isn't particularly remarkable to look at, and has most of the functions a normal PDA would. Running specially written software rather than Windows Mobile or Palm OS, it comes with a stylus for you to operate everything via the 81mm (3.2-inch) touchscreen.
It has contacts, task and calendar info, which you can sync with Outlook or Google Calendar, plus it can play MP3s, AVI videos and display pictures. There are USB, miniSD and 3.5mm earphone sockets, with up to 4GB of memory built-in, depending on the version. A cool app lets you draw on the screen and attach an audio recording to your scribblings.
Then it all gets a little freaky. The real point of this PDA is the Bible. It comes loaded with two different versions of the Old and New Testaments, which are fully indexed -- just tap a word from an alphabetised list to see the relevant verse.
A 'wisdoms' button gives you selected important quotes from the Bible, and the text to speech function means you can simply listen to the verse if you so wish through the built-in speaker. It sounds a little odd -- imagine a clipped sat-nav-style voice saying 'In. The beginning. There. Was...' and you'll see what I mean.
It's aimed at older people, so KingNeed has made it easy to adjust the size of the text if you find it hard to read. The company is making them now, and it reckons they will cost around $190 (£95) in stores. We won't hold our breaths for a UK release. -Jason Jenkins