SoftBook Reader for SoftBook Press

Electronic-book reader

The SoftBook electronic book opens up new horizons in publishing, providing a quick and intuitive method to carry 100,000 pages of content, including text, pictures, and graphics. After instantly turning the unit on by flipping open its leather cover, users read a page at a time, just like a book, without awkwardly scrolling through documents or printing them out. New books are retrieved from the SoftBookstore by plugging into a phone line—no Internet connection or separate computer is needed—and downloading titles for instant access.

Prior to the extensive industrial, interaction, and mechanical engineering design work, IDEO’s human factors experts studied the reading habits of people in a large variety of settings, in order to thoroughly understand contexts of use. Thin and comfortable to hold, the touch-screen interface closely emulates reading a book, while providing an easy method to highlight and search for text or make notes.

(This product is now sold by Gemstar.)

Project date: 1998