WikiReader turns on instantly, and works for months before replacement of its two AAA batteries is necessary. The large monochrome screen uses a touch interface. Articles are scrolled with a stroke of the finger and hyperlinks selected with a simple tap. Three buttons, Search, History and Random, offer the convenience of reading specific topics or the serendipitous pleasure of discovering something by chance within Wikipedia's rich array of articles ranging from Freud to Final Fantasy. Updates for the WikiReader are provided quarterly and available for free download via their website. A yearly subscription plan for updated microSD cards is also available for $29.
For more than eight years, people from all corners of the world have contributed knowledge in the form of articles, translations, and source codes, collectively building Wikipedia, the largest reference resource that humankind has ever seen. WikiReader extends this spirit of collaboration, representing the combined vision of a designer, device manufacturer, significant grass roots research, and input from parents to preteens to pedagogues about the ways people want to access information throughout their days.
"We created the WikiReader to be fun, easy, informative and entertaining for all ages," said Openmoko CEO, Sean Moss-‐Pultz. "WikiReader is a whimsical look at the joy of learning in the digital age. It's personal and it’s fun. We're extremely excited about sharing our device with the world."
WikiReader was designed by Thomas Meyerhoffer, the former Apple designer known for reshaping surf culture with his radically different surfboards: “The key is keeping it simple. We really want the focus to be on the experience of reading Wikipedia, not browsing the Web. That’s why we only have three buttons. There really is no interface. You’re just straight into the content.”
Meyerhoffer, continues, “Because it’s offline and offers parental controls, the whole experience happens within the device. That’s especially great when it comes to kids. I can give this to my nine-‐year-‐ old, and I know he’s only going to get content that is fine for him to read.”
WikiReader device carries up to 8GB of Wikipedia texts
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 13 2009 @ 20:34 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
OpenMoko presents the WikiReader, a $99 device designed to search and browse through Wikipedia articles. It has a small monochrome touchscreen and a 8GB microSD memory card that can store up to three million Wikipedia pages. The company claims two standard AAA batteries are enough to deliver a battery life of about 12 months under normal usage.