October 19, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Barnes & Noble may have much of the tech world waiting on its rumored Android-based e-reader, but it may be beaten to the punch by another company. Spring Design has announced Alex, a dual-screen e-book reader with web browsing capabilities. The dual-screen “Duet Navigator” features an EPD display for reading e-ink and an LCD screen for viewing full-color photos and navigating through the device. The Android OS has been optimized to suit these two display modes and preserve battery life.
Spring Design touts Alex as a way to enhance the digital reading experience. It includes text with links and the ability to see or create images, videos, and notes pulled from the web as add-ons. Imagine you’re reading about the Texas Revolution; Alex can potentially provide the option to read an article about pioneer James Bowie or view a short video segment produced by the History Channel.
“We are bringing life to books with audio, video, and annotations. This gives readers the ability to fully leverage the resources on the Web, and the tools available in search engines to augment the reading experience.” – Dr. Priscilla Lu, CEO of Spring Design
Spring Design is in negotiations with potential partners to have Alex released before the end of this year. Those who purchase it will find the following:
- Dual-screen 6-inch e-ink EPD and 3.5-inch color LCD display
- Wi-Fi, 3G GSM, and EVDO/CDMA network compatibility
- Earphones and speakers
- Expandable memory through SD card
- Full-web browsing and support for bookmarking, history, etc.
- Ability to grab content from web and link it to e-books in “add on” editions
- Ability to customize multimedia content linked to reader