The American Library Association just held their annual conference these past few days, and 3M were there to show off their new 3M Cloud Library.
Update: 3M sent me the wrong image. That is still the txtr Reader, not the new 3M Reader.
There were a number of details that I'd been waiting on ever since the Cloud Library was announced, but the most important one was the new 3M ebook reader. The image at right shows their current design. That is the concept, but I'm told it might not look quite like that when released.
I hope you recognize it. That used to be known as the txtr Reader. Yep, it's the one that I reported dead back in December.
3M invested in txtr last year, so this makes a fair amount of sense. 3M saved the expense of developing a new device and txtr recouped the cost of developing a device that couldn't be sold on the retail market.
I don't have any specific details on the current device (edit: all 3M gave me was the image), but I do know that the txtr Reader was based on a 6" E-ink screen. It had Wifi, optional 3G, Bluetooth, g-sensor, a vibrator (for feedback), and it had a swipe pad in place of a d-pad. It's not clear what details will be n the final model.
But the most important detail on the txtr Reader is that the design is 2 years. Compared to the current market, it is both underpowered and overpriced.And now 3M will be selling it to a small niche. They will have to take a loss or charge far more than the thing is worth.
P.S. I'm also told that txtr are still having trouble with it, but I can't confirm that.