We care about technology-enhanced human systems. So we thought we would share regular thoughts and opinions about why we think they matter so much.
So Amazon are just about to launch their second generation kindle e-book reader - and as someone who's an avid e-reader (you'll often catch him squinting at a PDA where he's downloaded the latest Terry Goodkind) my partner in crime here, Tony, immediately fired through the news of it's impending release. You can see the old (left) and new version (right) here: [caption id="attachment_91" align="alignnone" width="599" caption="The old & the new Amazon e-Reader - Kindle"][/caption] It seems those that like new things are going to be lapping it up whatever - one comment seemed to sum it up: "Still ugly. Still Expensive. Still want one". But what we can't work out is why they're keeping with the full keyboard. It just makes it too big - doesn't it? And let's face it - we all know it doesn't have the capability of a netbook, so you're not working on it - and if the developers don't have the ability to create a complete iPhone-esque touch screen interface at this time (we all now that's where this will go though) then surely they could create a simpler interface that could cope with all you'll be doing on this version of the Kindle without eating up space? Others are managing to get a better balance e.g. Sony Reader (although there are many things that differentiate the Reader and the Kindle - not least Kindle's wifi ability and a vastly greater library to chose from). It's still exciting to see the future evolving before our eyes (as we touched on in regards to ePaper in an earlier post this year), but I wonder if sometimes product designers lose sight of what they're actually producing at this release time and detrimentally affect this generation of the product because of that - in this case (in our opinion/experience) an eReader where the keyboard just seems a little in the way and uneccessary. Still - clearly Tony's pushing to try and get one through on expenses whatever! :)