3M will soon be unleashing a new Cloud based ebook lending service for libraries to compete with Overdrive. They introduced their system at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans last month. Today new video was captured showing off their discovery terminals and applications.
The gist of the enterprise is the installation of “Discovery Terminals” in public and private libraries. These all have touchscreen interfaces that allow you to browse the selection of ebooks, audio, and other content the library provides. 3M’s main selling point is that their service makes it easier for patrons to download content right to their device. Currently via Overdrive and your e-reader there is almost a dozen steps you need to take in order to transfer the book. The 3M solution only warrants an app for your device or delivering the book via WIFI to your reader.
Germany based Txtr is also helping create the technology behind the browsing capability of the Discovery Terminals and the cloud-based searching for patrons who choose to peruse the catalogue from outside the library. It is also working on the library’s end of the process, providing the ability for the library to personalize their pages within the cloud system, to contact their patrons, and to stay on top of their catalogues.
“This is the first joint effort of 3M and Txtr after they took an equity stake in Txtr,” adds Thomas Leliveld, Chief Commercial Officer of Txtr, speaking via Marijke van Hooren, public relations spokesperson. “The high growth of the eReading market and the rapidly rising sales of smart phones and tablets, show that libraries are right to embrace new technologies to capitalize on these trends. It was very encouraging to speak with library staff at ALA and to get their positive feedback to our first joint concrete project in the US market.”
The 3M Cloud Library system will be compatible with a myriad of devices such as PC’s, MACS, iPads, Nooks, Android Tablets, and 3M e-readers. The service went live June 27, 2011. “The 3M e-reader is really intended to be merely an accessory to work with the cloud service. When you’re at home, you can download our app for your PC or laptop and read content. The user name and pin allows you access to the titles that your local library has purchased to make available, which can then be synced to your own e-reader or smartphone. Everything is synchronized to the Cloud and accessible across all of your devices. This should work really well for outlying areas as patrons can access books without having to travel to a library,” says 3M’s Digital Business Development Leader Tom Mercer in an exclusive Good e-Reader interview.
video via Mobileread
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.