Monday, August 07, 2006

Of e-Books and digital paper (22)

I had a visit from a friend/client last week. He is working in the helicopter development and concerned with manuals and technical parts. I showed him the iLiad, the white and black text reader and despite the fact that I had kept him informed, the guy went crazy, when he saw and felt the real thing.

Helicopter business is a complex area with electrical systems, electronics, hydraulic systems; you name it. In order to have all information handy while working on a machine and save the remarks, it is ideal to have a portable source.
One of the major requirements is also the versioning: what is the latest version and who produced it.

So he had a look at the iLiad as I received it, without a sample of technical information. But the presentation was convincing enough for him to start talks about experimenting and think about the future. We will start with loading up a technical manual and test this. Soon after that experiment, we will start loading up a database and make this one available through a Wifi connection. This should be interesting in order to test the use of the iLiad in a workshop on the floor.

Talking about the present model of the iLiad for use in a workshop, he made a valuable remark. In order to fully functional in his environment, the device should exist of two connected tablets: one for illustrations and one for text. This is interesting. In the early days of the second e-book wave I have seen such a model (see photograph). At that moment I thought that the developers were imitating a printed book. But now I see this in another light. Of course the development of a two pages tablet is another project.

All in all, my friend was so impressed, that we decided to start the experiments in September. It will be interesting to see how the iLiad will work with technical manuals and databases. In the meantime I will start copying Word and PDF material to the iLiad in order to show people how readable the iLiad is.

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Blog Posting Number: 467


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