Friday, January 8, 2010
This seems really cool. From CNN
The most revolutionary e-reader experience unveiled at CES this week may not be a piece of hardware. A new software application called Blio, built in part by futurist-inventor Ray Kurzweil on a Microsoft platform, turns almost any laptop, netbook or smartphone into an image-rich electronic reader.
Blio uses publishers' original PDF files to preserve the format of books and magazines, including their layout, typesetting, colors and graphics. At the same time, it supports interactive multimedia, including video and Web links.
A read-aloud feature allows a computer voice to speak words as they are highlighted on the page, a potentially useful tool for young readers or the vision-impaired. Another Blio feature will allow users to translate to or from English in an embedded window.
Blio will be available as a free download in late February. Through a partnership with book distributor Baker & Taylor, the software will launch with an online store featuring more than 1.2 million titles -- from best-sellers to travel guides.
"We are striking deals with every publisher out there," said Baker & Taylor Senior Vice President Linda Gagnon. "There's not one publisher we've talked to who isn't over-the-top excited about this tool."