Small Idea, Great Potential

Well, actually it might already have become a great business rather than a potential. But as I don’t know how it might exactly be, I’ll stick to my title.

What I’m going to talk about is the WikiReader.

What is WikiReader

WikiReader is a small BSD-based (?) handheld device that let’s your search in a previously downloaded version of Wikipedia articles. Or as the website says

WikiReader is an electronic encyclopedia giving physical form to Wikipedia. Now you can take it with you wherever you go.

It has a nice look, with only three buttons and a touch screen for easy navigation. With two standard AAA batteries it’s said that it’ll function for up to 12 months of normal usage.

It has an apparent monthly schedule for providing update files (which as of now measure to 4.7 GB).

No knowledge of how a wiki operates is required to use this device, which has an intended audience of school children and the like.

Why is it small?

The idea behind this device is actually very simple. There’s no innovations involved. Nothing new is born out of it. It only facilitates the way we use Wikipedia, eliminating the need to go over the net and search for the articles.

It even does not have a connection interface. The screen – while pretty smooth and all – won’t allow for a good view of colored images as it is in monochrome.

It also doesn’t take a genius to create such a device. The hardware/software configuration is pretty straightforward and simple.

However, even though it doesn’t require genius, it requires courage and persistence in work to achieve it and to introduce it to the market. For that, I applaud the designers.

Why the potential?

Well, it’s pretty obvious. You give all the students in your class a simple, easy to use device that helps them write their homework twice as fast and you have their admiration – and money.

A school in which all students are able to read any article they want – be it about their favorite actor or about any school related material – is a happier and more productive environment than one in which students are asked to go home or use the library to lookup those information.

So, it has the potential of grabbing many instructors’ and directors’ attentions and making a new market for itself.

Well, that’s all I have to say on that subject for now. So, take care all!

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