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Invention Of The Ereader
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Invention Of the Ereader

In 1971 the first Ebook was invented by Michael Hart, and many more put into print by Project Gutenberg. However it wasn’t until 1998 that the very first Ebook Reading Device was invented.

This miracle of modern technology was created by by NuvoMedia known as the Rocket Ebook with the capacity to hold 10 Ebooks, and its compatible books were sold through Barnes & Noble as well as Powell’s Bookstore. Rocket Ebook was swiftly followed by the SoftBook, produced by SoftBook Press Inc. which came with a brown leather cover to feel more book-like and could be plugged into a phone jack where it could download up to 1,500 pages from the SoftBookstore. You could also download daily newspapers and such if you kept it plugged in overnight, and its proudest accomplishment was the 5 hour long battery life!

These revolutionary achievements were followed by Ereaders such as the Cybook Gen1 with a 3-5 hour battery life and Franklin EbookMan, which was discontinued in 2002. Then the E-Ink Corporation, founded in 1997, partnered with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Motorola and Sony, and that was when things really started to change for the Ebook Reader. In 2004 Sony released the Librie in Japan, which was one of the first Ereaders to use an electronic paper display with electronic ink. In 2006 the drum roll began with Sony’s second Ereader, and in 2007 the Kindle was born.

2007 was a year unlike any other in the Ebook Reader world, starting with the Kindle, the Cybook Gen3, the iLiad, the eClicto, the various Sony Readers and the jetBook. The Kindle was the first Ereader to be publicly launched and heavily marketed in the mass consumer market, and soon it dominated the Ereader market with its long battery life, its access of the Amazon bookstore and its continuous line of descendants. Following the Kindle was a swamping wave of Ereaders with over 7 other companies being produced in that year.

If that was a swamping wave then 2010/2011 was the tsunami. Over 40 different Ereaders have hit the market recently, some by big name companies and some by others, smaller but no less advanced. Along with all these eInk based Ereaders followed the colour and touch screen siblings, all with their own advantages and disadvantages and millions of accessories to go with them.

Looking at the latest models like the Kindle Fire and comparing them to the Rocket Ebook and the SoftBook it is plain to see just how far Ereaders have developed over the last 14 years. These days there is an Ereader for just about every person, in every country with the perfect Ereader waiting for them (soppy I know), and as there always should be, millions and millions of books to be read.


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