Several years ago some people in my church purchased Laurel an electronic Bible. A Franklin, I believe it was called. It worked great, and Laurel enjoyed it. “Enjoyed it.” Past tense. She never uses it any more. It was a hot item, but its centrality in the digital world was very short-lived. After she’d had it a few months, I found one for my Palm IV. That application moved with me to my Palm m-130 and then to my Sony Clie while Laurel’s Franklin sat on the shelf. Then I took the digital text and software to my Pocket PC. The Franklin stayed put. Then when I moved from the Pocket PC to a cell phone, my reader and text came with me. The Franklin? Still on the shelf.
That story illustrates the truth that technology that performs a singular function is great until that singular function is integrated into other devices that perform more functions. Then the question becomes, “Why should I carry all those devices around?” I fear this is the case with the Kindle.
Don’t get me wrong — I would not mind having a Kindle or a Nook.
But I’ve not bought one for several reasons.
First, as I have said, I don’t like the idea of being locked into a system that only does one thing. In my world, Laurel’s Franklin has been replaced by Palms, then PPCs, then PDA Phones, then the iPhone, and now the Android. However, since I purchased the text and software for my devices, I’ve migrated through several units. The text and the reader I have is somewhat platform-independent.
Second, I don’t want a black and white device. How about some color and some serious resolution?
Third, I don’t want a device that just reads books. If I am going to have something like that in my hand, it should have wifi and let me read CNN and FoxNews along with the latest issue of National Geographic. And it should let me surf the web too.
Fourth, I believe that Kindle and Nook technology is not current. By that, I mean, I believe they could make a much better device than these, but they are holding back while we buy these. In 2011, probably near Christmas season, they will offer the next generation — the one they should be selling now — and people will take out their wallets once more.
As I was thinking about this, I stumbled across this article:
I like that idea.