Latest Kindle e-book reader to have ‘new book smell’ bundled in

The printed word took another step towards extinction today, after it was announced that the latest generation of Amazon Kindle e-reader devices will exude that new book smell upon activation.

The Kindle 3 uses the latest artificial smell technology, including Amazon’s own Patented Olfactory Neural Generation algorithm, to create that crisp, papery odour which, according to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is so beloved of bibliophiles. ‘Book lovers will go crazy for this,’ he declared.

Bezos also revealed that the algorithm also boasts a built-in ‘half life’, and that the generated odour will start to ‘decay’ after a certain period of time: ‘The new book smell will gradually change, so that in a few years users will start to notice a musty, old library tinge to their e-readers – assuming that the batteries last long enough.’

In order to fully replicate the experience of reading a real book, Amazon are also investigating the possibility of replacing Kindle’s plastic casing with one made of thin sheets of a paper-like material, pressed together to form a box. More radically, the online retailing giant is also trialling a new display system to replace the traditional screen, by printing e-books directly onto these sheets. ‘Consecutive pages will be accessed by simply turning over one sheet at a time,’ Bezos told technology reporters.

Other companies have taken note of Amazon’s latest innovation and are said to be developing their own sensory-interfacing systems. Microsoft and Activision have embarked on a joint venture, allowing players of the latest Call of Duty game, World War One, to be sporadically sprayed with mud and shell fragments from their X-Box. Meanwhile GPS makers Garmin have unveiled their latest sat-nav system, aimed at improving car journeys by enveloping the driver with the smell of boiled sweets and sick.

(Written 28 Jan 2010)

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Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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