Kobo has developed two e-readers and has submitted all of the necessary paperwork to the FCC. One is a six inch device and the other is around 7.8 inches. It looks like at least one of these new models is going to be released this August, according to Tweet by Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn.
This new e-reader breaks many design conventions that Kobo has adhered to for many years. As you can see from the above image that the back cover features a new kind of grip that seems to be restive to fingerprints and also has the power button on the back, instead of the sides or top of the device.
Internally this e-reader is known as the Kobo Aura One, and it is very likely that this will be the final name when it comes out in August.
It will be interesting to see what the final product looks like and if it will be waterproof or if it will bring audio functionality. Kobo has been teasing the last few years that audio is their final frontier and a vertical they are very interested in. One interesting scoop I have, regarding this new e-reader is that it will ship with the new Overdrive app. For the last four months Overdrive has been making an e-ink version of their digital library app to make borrowing books easier and the entire experience will be optimized for e-paper displays.
I don’t think that Kobo is going to change their Linux based operating system or overhaul the UI. The company has basically been running the same time of software for many years, so you will not be able to install any apps. The one consistency is Pocket integration, so you will be able to read articles and RSS feeds. There will obviously be an internet browser, so you can play casual games or see if any of the casino games from www.casinoreviews.co.uk will work on your device.
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.