|Photo courtesy of Ion Audio|
According to cnet.com, a company called Ion Audio plans to get something on the market this summer that will change the e-book marketplace in ways that are likely to push book publishers into panic-mode. That is exactly what makes me doubt that the "Book Saver" will make it to market as quickly as Ion hopes to have it there.
Ion said the Book Saver is capable of digitizing a 200-page book in 15 minutes. An owner of a Book Saver, which will likely sell for $150, places a book into the scanning cradle and the device makes color copies in seconds, thanks to two cameras hanging above the book.And that, of course, will make it as easy to share electronic books with friends and family as it is today to rip ten copies of the latest CD to trade with friends.
"Once converted, the books can quickly be transferred to a computer or e-reader," Ion said on its Web site. "Book Saver is the only device needed to quickly make all your books, comics, magazines, or other documents e-reader compatible."
Of course, as the article does point out, ripping a book this way is much more labor intensive than ripping a CD on a home computer:
The scanning process on the device, while not as time consuming as the old way, is still nowhere as easy to use as a CD ripper. According to Engadget, there's no automated way to turn pages and an owner needs to lift the device to turn every page.I am a notorious "early adopter" and I would happily pay $150 for a device that allows me to turn my entire personal library into a portable one - even a device requiring as much time and patience as this one is likely to require in its initial form.
Book publishers should know that eventually someone or some company, maybe even Ion, will streamline the process.
I'll be anxiously watching for Book Saver.
It is completely legal to market this device today, but I do suspect that publishing company lawyers will find a way to slow down its introduction. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though, that I have new toy some time this summer.