Copia E-Readers Aim to Blend Reading with Social Networking

The market for ereaders may be largely dominated by the Amazon Kindle, but there’s certainly no shortage of challengers looking to bring electronic readers and mobile technology to the masses. Today DMC Worldwide unveiled its Copia platform, which aims to combine portable ereaders with mobile social networking capabilities so users can not only enjoy books, novels, blogs, magazines, newspapers, Internet sites, and more, but share what they think is important about them with friends, family, and the world—all from a single device. DMC will initially offer two product lines—the Ocean and the Tidal—with three readers each, along with an open platform the enables publishers and users to connect through a collaborative environment. Plus, third party device makers will be able to make new devices that latch into the Copia platform.

Copia Tidal Touch (CES 2010)

“Today, eBook content is delivered across one of two typical business models: a vast online store or a social networking service,” said DMC senior VP Anthony Antolino, in a statement. “The Copia platform is the first of its kind to combine content, collaboration, social networking, and e-commerce together to connect people through a collaborative experience. We developed Copia to allow users to discover and connect to each other through meaningful content regardless of the digital devices they are using.”

The Copia ereader lineup consists of six devices: three in the Ocean line and three in the Tidal line. The Ocean 6 features an 6-inch eInk display. 802.11b/g Wi-fi, a microSD card slot, a tilt sensor, and 4 GB of storage; the Ocean 9 jumps up to a 9-inch 1,024 by 768 eInk display, while the Ocean 9 3G actually runs on Linux, steps down to 2 GB of storage, but and offers optional 3G connectivity along with a speaker. The Tidal line follows a similar theme, except the Tidal touch and Tidal touch 3G offer a capacitive touchscreen, while the plain-old Tidal is the only unit in the bunch with a dedicated QWERTY soft keypad—but it doesn’t offer either Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. In the Tidal line, only the Tidal Touch has 4 GB of storage; the Tidal touch 3G and plain-old Tidal have 2 GB each.

Copia Ocean family (CES 2010)

DMC plans to launch a private beta of the Copia service starting this month, and expects the Copia ereaders will be available for purchase starting in April 2010 with prices ranging from $199 to $299; no word on whether 3G connectivity will be rolled into the cost or whether users will have to sign up for a service plan. DMC is also promising an array of “compelling” content ranging from best-selling and popular books through public domain, entertainment,and textbook content, although no content partners have been announced yet.

All told, the Copia platform looks interesting, but it remains to be seen how users will interact with each other using the platform’s social networking tools, especially since some of the Copia readers have no connectivity at all. Perhaps, since the Copia platform is open, users are expected to be able to interact with each other using other tools like traditional Web browsers or mobile devices, and use the initial readers more like endpoint terminals. If the Copia readers support truly interactive social networking features with friends, family, and a broader ereader community, however, DMC might just have a winner on its hands.

Copia Tidal family (CES 2010)
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.