Many news outlets yesterday picked up on a story that was based on conjecture and fallacy. They proclaimed that 3M was to be launching a new e-reader that looked much akin to the Txtr e-reader that has been in development for some time. Today a leading executive within the Txtr organization debunked the news circulating around the internet and said, “The e-reader demonstrated was for illustration purposes only, and will not be marketed.”
3M is attending the American Library Association in New Orleans, along with many other leading content distributors, such as Overdrive, who are offering new technologies to libraries in the USA. 3M was showing a new cloud based ebook lending system that will be running in conjunction with Txtr.
3M is going all out trying to compete in a market with tons of growth potential and they are not taking it lightly. They have signed agreements with Random House and IPG to form a cloud based ebook lending service to be offered to libraries.
The new 3M system is planned for installation beginning this summer at a number of locations across the country, including the Saint Paul Public Library, Minn.; Bergen County Cooperative Library System, N.J.; Maricopa County Library District, Ariz.; Douglas County Libraries, Colo.; Darien Library, Conn.; Richland County Public Library, S.C.; and the State Library of Kansas on behalf of the Kansas Digital Library Consortium. 3M will seek feedback from both patrons and staff at these locations on the service’s ease of use and functionality, using their input to continue to refine the system. Once the system is refined they will begin to offer their technology to other institutions and even abroad.
3M plans to install “discovery” terminals in libraries that will allow patrons to browse the eBooks being offered. They will be able to navigate a pure color touchscreen experience with an emphasis on “ease of use.” The service’s eBooks are compatible with PCs, Macs, iPads, Nooks, and Androids. Using their personal devices, patrons can browse, check out, and read eBooks, all without leaving the app. If a book you want is new or popular you can add your name to a waiting list for the digital and/or print content at the terminal.
Finally, as many of you may or may not know Txtr and 3M have a solid relationship because 3M invested heavily into the company. This is why 3M was using Txtr e-reader to demonstrate the cloud library lending service.
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 CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.