The boat for Kindle 2.0 has probably sailed – so it makes sense to look beyond 2.0 and look at what features we’d like to see in Kindle 3.0. Hopefully someone from the Amazon Kindle team stumbles across this and picks one of these for Kindle 3 (or at the minimum, takes inspiration from them). Here are the touch screen and holographic screen technologies that I think would go very well with the Kindle’s 3rd version (my personal favorites are Microsoft Surface and Dreamoc) –
- Microsoft Surface Multi Touch – This Microsoft Surface demo is the coolest thing I’ve seen from Microsoft (even cooler than PhotoSynth). If they put this into Windows 7 I’ll buy a copy the day it comes out (well, actually I’m going to buy a copy anyways). BTW they do have a working product already (Sheraton uses it). It costs between $5000 to $10,000. Jump to 2:47 to see Bill Gates describe it.
- HelioDisplay – You can check out the explanation video for HelioDisplay. However, the video right here shows something even cooler – HelioDisplay with interactivity (jump to 0:32). This goes beyond Multi Touch to a holographic interactive screen. Don’t just change the font size, change the screen size.
- Jeffrey Han’s Multi Touch Screen – This is one of my personal favorites and I even sneaked one into a work presentation some 3 years ago. He later presented at TED (Feb 2006) – jump ahead to 2:31 for the good stuff. Also, he founded a company called Perceptive Pixel and they have a beautiful video of the screen technologies they’re working on.
- Dreamoc 3D Display System by RealFiction – This seems to be targeted at Retail outlets. However, a modification would work really well for the Kindle if you gave the Kindle 3.0 some depth (not sure how much would be needed) and projected books as holograms. Also, their DDC design center illusion video totally blew my mind.
I tried to find other screen technologies that excited me, and couldn’t. If you have any suggestions let me know. Jeffey Han’s technology is showing it’s age when compared to the others. I’d be ecstatic to see any of the other 3 technologies in Kindle 3.0. On a side note, Apple bought Fingerworks to get its iPhone multi touch magic –
In 1999, Fingerworks, a Newark-based company run by University of Delaware academics John Elias and Wayne Westerman, produced a line of multi-touch products including the iGesture Pad and the TouchStream keyboard. Westerman published a dissertation in 1999 on the subject. In 2005, after years of maintaining a niche line of keyboards and touchpads, Fingerworks was acquired by Apple Computer. In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone, marking the first time multi-touch technology was used on a phone.
Its a little disheartening that something available since 1999 took until 2007 to come out in a widely used product. However, as the success of the iPhone shows – there is a huge premium associated with bringing cool new technologies to market. Amazon Kindle Team – its a huge opportunity – bringing an interactive holographic display or some variant of Microsoft Surface Technology to the third incarnation of the Kindle would bring huge rewards.
Finally, Kindle 3.0 having something like MS Surface multitouch is somewhat more likely now that –
Addie Wagenknecht and Stefan Hechenberger of Nortd studio, based in New York and Vienna, created a scaled-down open-source version of Surface, called CUBIT (multi-touch) and a screen based kit called TouchKit.