Touted as the ultimate student gadget, the Kno reader (short for Knowledge, of course!) is ready to ship, just in time for Christmas. Founded by Dr. Babur Habib and Osman Rashid, their Manifesto explains what makes their product, limited to textbooks and school related applications, different:
Kno is a digital textbook - and we use the term loosely - that is about to change the way knowledge is transmitted and the way students learn. We started Kno from a tabula rasa - a blank slate - to create a new slate. First we did our homework about the way students do their homework. We studied the way they study. And we probed them about the best way to re-imagine the analog studying and reading experience in the digital world. And the result… well, from the moment you take Kno in your hands, you know you’re looking at something totally different.
According to the company, a single device can hold an astonishing 10 semester’s worth of textbooks, notes, applications, research content, homework, web links and other school related material. This will save students from dragging around heavy, unwieldy textbooks and their netbooks all day. While some worry that reading from Kno may not be comfortable, accessories such as screen clips, sleeves and portfolio cases are also available that prop the Kno upright in multiple reading positions.
While the single screen ($599) and the dual screen ($899) may seem a bit too expensive for their niche market, i.e. the average American student, considering that an I-Pad costs about a hundred dollars less, Kno's CEO, Rashid, claims that "it pays for itself" since the digital textbooks either bought or rented through the Kno bookstore cost between 30 -50% less than physical textbooks. And unlike traditional textbooks where students refrain from annotating their pages with notes from class because the books' resale value will be affected, no such problem exists with the Kno, again the Manifesto –
After Kno, they are free to write all over the textbook. They can capture their professors’ wisdom and their own ideas right on the page, in their own handwriting, the way note-taking is done naturally. It’s a brilliant innovation that unifies content and commentary to make studying and the transfer of knowledge simply better.
Now, I wonder when they'll start shipping to the Philippines?