Android has made a big splash in the tech sector. The open source platform has been adopted by many cell phone manufactures and, as announced by Spring Design, is also being used on an E-book reader.
The picture below shows the new E-book reader with dual screens, one traditional black and white while the other is color, in a traditional E-book reader shape. Although the additional screen at the bottom does appear to make this device a little oblong when compared to the Amazon Kindle.
"Alex features a 6" E-Ink EPD display and 3.5" color LCD display, earphones and speakers. A removable SD card will free up library space on the device while letting users archive content for future reference. The enhanced Android OS is optimized to support integration between the color and monochrome displays while preserving battery life. Users can capture and cache web content from their online experience on the LCD screen, and toggle to view it on the EPD screen without taxing the battery life. Browser features such as bookmarking, history, and security settings are built in, and the device with full Android browsing capability, is mobile enabled with smart phones capabilities."
No partners have been announced and it doesn't seem as if they have nailed down a 3G partner yet (the inclusion of GSM and CDMA technologies leaves the field open).
The reader does look promising as it expands upon the capabilities of a traditional E-book reader. But do E-Book readers really want a color screen to browse the web to find supplemental information; isn't reading an old fashion form of entertainment?
[UPDATE]: Engadget has some interesting information regarding this E-book: "We just heard from Spring Design's PR person, Pat Meier Johnson. We were told that the Alex device above is not the rumored dual-screen Barnes & Noble reader, "this is an entirely different device." Judging by the hastily prepared web site coincidentally appearing on the eve of the B&N device launch, and the domain's registrar, Albert Teng, who has numerous patent applications (not patents granted) covering "electronic devices having complementary dual-displays," we'd say this announcement is quite possibly a desperate attempt to lay claim on intellectual property rights instead of a real product with real manufacturers and real content partners. We'll see when, or if, it launches."