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August 28, 2009

Discovery e-books in bookstores and libraries?

There are a few more goodies in the news I reported yesterday of Discovery Communication's patent filing for an e-book reader.

The Discovery e-reader is a portable viewing device with a high-resolution LCD display, and would be a direct competitor to the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader. (Discovery has thus far declined to comment on the patent filing.) But according to the schematics, the Discovery e-reader will have line in and line out jacks, and coaxial in and coaxial out jacks -- which suggests multimedia capabilities, too. Discovery appears to be setting up its own virtual e-book store, and has some previous patents on electronic book formats.

But there's another wrinkle to what Discovery wants to do: in the patent filing, there are diagrams of an e-book system that could be used by book stores and libraries. I wonder if they're devising a system where you can go to a library and, instead of taking out a paper book, you can borrow an e-book reader with multiple books stored on it. See below -- what does the diagram suggest to you?


So how will consumers get the e-books on the device? From the patent filing: "The distribution network may be an electronic book store, an Internet web site, a wired or wireless telecommunications network, an intranet, a radio program delivery system, a television program delivery system, including cable television, satellite television broadcast, and over-the-air broadcast, for example. The electronic book distribution network could include direct delivery through a mail delivery system of electronic books on a fixed media, such as a CD-ROM, for example."

Wow. That's a lot of different options for it. Make sense for a big broadcaster like Discovery to leverage all its assets in delivering the electronic content in a variety of ways.

It's unclear if Discovery has set-up any partnerships yet with their reader, but in another diagram depicting a virtual menu on the gadget, it shows options for accepting a fax or other message type, and reading the Cox news service, U.S. News and World Report, and Fodor's Travel Service. See below:


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Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:12 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Big Ideas, Gadgets

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About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

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