An update has finally been released about the status of KNFB Reading Technology's eReader. Called Blio, the software-based solution will offer full-color representations of books including the original typesetting and illustrations. Text-to-speech and other accessibility features will also be included. According to one example, publishers could synchronize the reading of a recorded audiobook with the displaying of text. First available on the PC, iPhone, and iPod Touch, the free software will be exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show next week. The big challenge will be to convince publishers to sign on to the format and convince them to convert their books for use with the software. Talks are also in progress with Google to make their library of titles compatible. A partnership with Baker & Taylor, owners of a 1.1 million eBook library, was announced in October.
An upcoming website, blioreader.com appears to be the future home for the software. The page now shows random passages from books.
Via Wired Gadget Lab
I work for a publishers' association and have been working with B&T to demo this to our members. There isn't much of a challenge in convincing publishers to convert their books as there is no conversion cost to the publisher and they only need to deliver a print-ready PDF to B&T. It is also a non-exclusive distribution agreement. I have seen this platform demo'ed three times and I can tell you it will change the way people read digital content (the accessibility features are also incredible) I am married to a blind Mac user by the way:-)
Jeff.young Thursday, 31-Dec-2009 8:14 PM ET:
in my opinion, who cares whether the kindle is accessible after this. It would just be another device to carry around. Software is where it's at. THe hardware is their. Get a mac or pc, and an iphone or ipod touch, and their's know need for an mp3 player, daisy book reader etc. If I can pull up blio on my mac, when it is supported, and read a book with out buying another $250-$300 device that's fine with me.
darknexus Sunday, 03-Jan-2010 01:18 AM ET:
I stopped caring about the Kindle a little while back. When I've got Kobo and Stanza (and now with this Blio coming out) I could care less. Amazon does seem to understand this though, that's why they have a Kindle app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Not accessible though, too bad for them that there are similar apps that work great for us. By the time Amazon does anything with the Kindle, no one's going to care apart from the ramifications for future product accessibility.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.