Be on the lookout for yet another e-book reader, this time from Creative, a company probably best known for its Soundblaster audio products and Zen mp3 players.
According to a post on Creative fan site, epiZenter (named for those Zen players), the company revealed a working protoype of the touch-screen reader, dubbed "Mediabook" for now. (Techmeme) The device will reportedly include text-to-speech functionality, an SD memory card slot and have Internet capabilities. There was no word on how that device would access the Web - either via WiFi or a wireless. Details on pricing and availability were also unavailable.
Still. it's good to see Creative step into this arena. Creative, after all, was the brand behind one of the original portable mp3 players - the Nomad Jukebox. It's long been understood that you don't have to be the first one our of the gate to win the race - and Apple proved that to be true with its iPod.
E-Book readers are suddenly the rage. And while Amazon talks a good talk about the Kindle's success, the company has yet to cough up actual data on how many Kindles have actually been sold. Sony recently upped its marketing campaign on its own e-book reader, including a TV commercial featuring celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Barnes and Noble entered the game with the Nook just a couple of weeks ago. And now, here comes Creative.
The market is still very ripe here. Amazon and its Kindle may have been first but that doesn't mean it gets the market leader position. As we (and Creative) have seen before, you don't have to be first to be the best.