Head over to the ALA TechSource blog to see my take on the new Amazon Kindle announcements. The new models announced yesterday, along with pricing, are:
There’s lots more at TechSource, but the pull-quote from the article is probably:
For libraries, however, with the exception of cheaper cost-per-device you want to provide…well, nothing really changes. Amazon is still providing books at the publisher’s set cost that are licensed in such a way that limits the ability of libraries to circulate them (the books, not the devices). The Kindle/Overdrive deal doesn’t change at all…you can just buy a Kindle to circ to patrons for $40 less than you could yesterday. But the technological hurdles for our patrons on the user-experience front as well as the backend limitations of the DRM provided files are still the same as ever.
This distinction from the post below, that media can either be collapsed (Content, Container, and Interface as a single piece, as a book) or expanded (each separated, as in a DVD, remote, and screen) explains a bit about why the Touch interface is so visceral. The iPad feels different from other devices when you use it, and one of the reasons that I believe it does is that it collapses what have been expanded media types. With the iPad (and to a lesser degree, the iPhone, Android devices, Microsoft Surface, etc) you directly interact with the media and information you are working with. When you watch a video on the iPad, the Content, Container, and Interface are as-a-piece, and you interact with the video by touching the video itself.
This has a lot to do with the revolutionary feel of these new touch devices…and I think it explains why previous attempts at things like Tablet PCs may have failed.
I just posted over at ALA TechSource on some of my thoughts after using the iPad for most of a week…I’m convinced that we’re about to hit a period where we will have to start thinking about reworking our user interfaces for Touch interaction. From the post:
We are used to mediated interactions with digital objects, using a tool as an intermediary or proxy. We’ve been interacting by metaphor, instead of directly. The mouse pushes a cursor around the screen, and the cursor interacts with the object (window, file, text) that we’re interested in. On a touchscreen, especially the modern touchscreen, you are interacting with the digital world directly. For those who haven’t had this experience, I can’t emphasize how much this changes the relationship between the information and the user.
Let me know what you think…do you think that libraries will move towards Touch-based technologies in the next year?