Findaway World Expands Playaway Distribution with new NeRD (Navy eReader Device)

NeRD Device and CaseThe consumer ereader market may be trending towards devices that are closer and closer to being tablets, but that doesn't work for everyone.The US Navy, in partnership with Findaway World, is announcing a new basic ereader today. Originally based on a hardware design licensed from a Singapore-based OEM, the NeRD (Navy eReader Device) a 6" ebook reader which lacks a touchscreen or Wifi. It has also been made more secure via the removal of external storage and the USB port.

The NeRD is going to be distributed starting this summer, and each unit will come pre-loaded with 300 titles. The content will be a mix of newer bestsellers and public-domain classics, including titles from major publishers like Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette and Penguin Random House.

hgg_playaway[1]This device is the product of Findaway World, which both is and is not a surprise. Findaway World is best know for distributing content (audiobooks, in particular), and they have deals with a number of ebook companies to provide audiobooks for a variety of platforms.

But Findaway World also distributes Playaway devices. This is an audiobook player about the size of pack of cards, and you can see one at left.

Each Playaway device comes preloaded with a single audiobook, enabling libraries to check out an audiobook title much like they check out a paper book. Findaway World sells them to libraries and institutions everywhere, including all branches of the US military.

In short, this Ohio-based company has adapted their audiobook distribution system to support a similarly locked down ebook reader. From a technical standpoint, that is very cool.

NeRD Device and Case

Update: I now have a partial list of specs for the NeRD. It's running Android 2.3 on a 600MHz CPU (+ 600MHz DSP). The screen resolution is 600 x 800, and the device comes with 4GB of storage.

An initial order of 365 devices will be distributed this summer by the Navy General Library Program, which will be using the NeRD to complement its existing ebook library catalog of 108,000 titles.

There are no plans for a consumer release, but schools and other institutions that are interested in buying NeRDs should contact your local Findaway World rep. I'm betting they will be happy to sell them to you.

Findaway World

About Nate Hoffelder (11582 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on Findaway World Expands Playaway Distribution with new NeRD (Navy eReader Device)

  1. “It has also been made more secure via the removal of external storage and the USB port”

    What about the battery life ???

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Findaway World Launches New Bundled eReader Solution for Libraries, Schools - The Digital Reader
  2. US Air Force Wants to Buy a Secure, Pre-Loaded eBook Reader - The Digital Reader
  3. Findaway World Gets a Half Million Dollar Contract to Sell Secure, Pre-Loaded eBook Readers to the USAF - The Digital Reader

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