Amazon is going to be announcing three new e-readers during the month of October. I heard they intend on releasing a new entry level Basic model, a second generation Kindle Voyage and a new Paperwhite. It is currently unknown what these new units will be packing, in terms of hardware specs. Amazon normally submits FCC applications using shell companies and keeps their cards close to the vest. The big question is, what do you want to see out of the latest products?
The second generation Kindle Voyage is likely going to be the most compelling device. One of the drawbacks out of the model released last year had to do with their PagePress haptic feedback page turn buttons. The company failed to garner patents in many different countries, including Canada because there is existing patents for this technology. This prevented Amazon from marketing it effectively. Likely the new Voyage might forgo this feature, or might repackage it so they can secure a patent.
I would like to see audio in the higher price Voyage, because users will be able to take advantage of lots of Amazon innovations that have occurred in the last few years. There is now lots of synergy between playing an audiobook, while reading an e-book. The words get highlighted as the audio plays, giving people a chance to have their attention diverted, while still being immersed in the story. Additionally, Amazon will be able to finally market an e-reader to the educational system and not have the National Federation of the Blind breathing down their necks because of the lack of audio.
These two things are likely just wishful thinking on my part, but the question remains. What would you all like to see on the next generation Basic, Paperwhite and Voyage?
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.