The WikiReader is a $99.00 handheld device which holds 3 million Wikipedia articles available via a simple 3 button interface and a greyscale touchscreen. It apparently works for 12 months on two AAA batteries and doesn’t need any Internet access. Instead the company will offer free updates via their website, or you can take out a yearly subscription for microSD card updates for $29.00 pa.
It’s clearly aimed at the youth and education market, and with the use of a touchscreen and minimal interface it could catch on, although we do wonder just how much of an advantage it gives over, say, a mobile phone running Wapedia? Although thinking about it, a purchase price of $99.00 all in makes it quite attractive. [Video]
One day, while visiting a local contract manufacturer of electronic dictionaries, inspiration struck us. Instead of an electronic language dictionary, we thought, let’s use Wikipedia. Let’s make it an offline, uncomplicated, unconnected experience that can be used on the plane, at the beach, in those silent moments of our day. Like a good book, we wanted something that could be enjoyed most everywhere.