RAY KURZWEIL'S 'BLIO' AIMS TO BETTER THE e-READING EXPERIENCE


MANILA, JANUARY 10, 2009
(CNET Online) By Marc Hertz - New software program brings e-reading to multiple devices and can even help people learn how to read.

In my CES primer on Monday, I made quick mention of Blio as part of one of the big trends (e-readers) at the conference, pointing out that it would have a color interface. Well, much to my pleasant surprise, it offers a lot more than that, according to CNET.

Because it's a software program instead of an actual e-reader, Blio can be used on personal computers, the iPhone, the iPod Touch and, hopefully, other devices, too. And along with presenting books in color, it presents them looking like, well, books (as you can see in the video below).

Also, it's going to be Web-enabled, so that textbooks, for instance, can be interactive, connecting to Web sites, video clips, etc. Another great enhancement is the ability to synchronize audio to the e-book, highlighting each word as it's being read. This can be a helpful part of the experience for children and others trying to learn how to read.

Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist best known for his prediction that "machine intelligence will surpass that of humans around 2045," has worked in areas such as speech recognition and text-to-speech synthesis. His knfb Reading Technology, a joint venture between his company Kurzweil Technologies and the National Federation of the Blind, provides reading products for those with disabilities and also came up with Blio.

Creating a cool e-reader technology is one thing, but putting that technology to use to help improve the reading experience on multiple levels, including something as fundamentally important as learning how to read, is much more impressive.

Blio should be available within a month, it's a free download and comes with about a million free books.

Photo courtesy of Geek Tonic, via Flickr

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marc Hertz is a San Francisco Bay
Area-based freelance writer and editor
with more than a decade of editorial
experience, including stints as a columnist
in Honolulu and a movie reviewer in San Francisco.
His articles have appeared in publications such as
CareerBuilder and Yahoo! Hot Jobs. He's been a
production assistant at ESPN, worked the overnight
shift at a wire service and grew up in Hawaii.

At CNET: News Article- Ray Kurzweil's Blio Aims to Better the E-reading Experience

FOR A BIOGRAPHY OF RAY KURWEIL: http://www.kurzweiltech.com/raybio.html


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