PORTLAND, Ore. The first e-book based on Google's Android operating system will be unveiled in January during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
|The Alex e-reader combines a monochrome screen for reading books with a backlit color LCD for viewing Web pages|
Dubbed "Alex," the e-book was designed by Spring Design Inc. (Fremont, Calif.). The display combines an ultra-low power, six-inch monochrome electrophoretic display for reading with a 3.5-inch color backlit LCD that allows users to click on e-book Web links.
The secondary screen is touch sensitive and can display embedded videos, audio, photos and notes associated with book titles. Based on what the developer calls "Duet Navigator" technology, Alex can surf the Web using Wi-Fi or 3G, EVDO/CDMA or GSM connections.
A removable SD card stores data, and permits publishers to supplement text with multimedia content stored on the card. Users can also create their own notes and multimedia additions to books, then share them using an authoring tool called Link Notes.
Spring Design announced Alex the day before Barnes & Noble announced its Android-based e-reader called Nook, but the company will be showing it for the first time at CES. Nook has a similar two-screen design, but the second color screen is smaller and designed mainly for choosing books and magazines.
Spring Design sued Barnes & Noble last month alleging that its Duet Navigator technology was misappropriated by the retailer.