Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wade Roush with Four Improvements for Kindle 2.0

In case you missed it, Xconomy columnist Wade Roush provided thoughts on the four most important improvements Amazon should incorporate in the next generation Kindle. Read the full article for more details, but here's what he's proposing:

1. Include motion activated scrolling and page-turning. This is the feature you see on so many of the newer iPhone 3G commercials. I think it looks cool on TV and it might be a nice feature for iPhone games but I'm not sure it would be a big deal on the Kindle. All you're doing is adding to the manufacturing cost for a gimmicky feature. Why not simply fix the poorly placed next/previous page buttons that already exist?

2. Try different content pricing and distribution models. Amen, brother! Whether it's a subscription model, all-you-can-eat, whatever...just get creative here, learn from other industries and see if there's a way to leverage this approach to lower the device's price.

3. Add brick-and-mortar distribution. Or, as Roush accidentally (?) called it in his article, "brick -and-mortal." Given that one definition of "mortal" is "subject to death", do you suppose that's why Amazon has shied away from them all these years? :-) Roush's typo aside, I totally agree with his point about partnering on this front. People's eyes light up when they see a Kindle and can play around with it.

4. Add a talking book feature. I've talked about this one before as well. My eyes get tired reading regardless of whether the content is on paper or a Kindle screen. Why not create a hybrid product that let's me flip a switch, close my eyes and read the content to me, right where I left off when my eyes tired? We'll get this feature someday I'm sure.


Ed said...

Numbers 2 appeals to me the most, I would definitely be interested in an all-you-can-eat subscription model.

I usually download around 10 books a month, so say if Amazon charged me $79/month for 10 free Kindle book downloads I would be a very happy man!