The newest installments of digital book readers keep widening the definition of what these devices do - will it have a button interface or tablet style, will it also be useful for holding images or music? Further muddying up the eReader image are newly leaked images from Microsoft, and another from Netherlands-based IREX Technologies. The Microsoft reader's called a Courier for now, says Business Week, and has an open-book look with dual-screen configuration. Controlled by stylus or finger gestures, the touchscreens may have multitouch capabilities equivalent to a color Touch edition Sony e-reader. However, PC World suggests that this device may not even make it to production, but may only be an imaginative competitive exercise.
The official IREX DR800SG description via PCMag promises an 8.1‐inch, touch‐screen eReader that offers multi‐mode 3G wireless capabilities. "Complementing the modern design of the device, users can purchase books, newspapers or magazines from a wide variety of sources." The device supports the industry standard ePub format and others, as well as multiple DRM.
The multiple DRM brings up an August 24th IREX announcement that their eReader will include the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, making purchases available on whatever devices the customer should choose. The press release stresses an "open view of the eReader market - customers should be able to purchase eBooks and read them on a range of platforms..." The B & N eBookstore currently carries over 750,000 titles with bestsellers priced at $9.99.
Other specifications include a $399 price tag and San Diego chipmaker Qualcomm's technology. The 3G connection will use the Verizon network, but can also access content from other wireless networks. The manufacturer is no newcomer to the e-Reader scene: i n 2001, IREX Technologies BV developed the electronic paper display for the 2004 Sony Librié.
The DR800SG will be carried by distribution partner Best Buy later this fall.