As I have mentioned in some previous blogs, interesting times are certainly ahead. Coming in with a tablet for the education market is a company called KNO Inc. Two friends founded the company: Osman Rashid and Dr. Babur Habib. A third person also helped found the company – Marc Andersson (of Netscape fame) now of Andersson Horowitz provided the venture capital. They have developed a tablet aimed at the universities called the KNO Tablet. Point of correction they have developed two tablets. One is a dual screen while the other a single screen.
I do have to admit one thing though; I would have loved one of those tablets while in university. It would have saved quite an amount of energy lugging books around. However, alas, I went to university in the pre-Internet era.
So what does this new contraption look like and how much will it cost? For starters, the tablet looks like any other tablet except it has a dual screen and it comes with a stylus. KNO has announced that the price for the single screen version will be $599 while that of the dual screen version will be $899.
As the CEO Osman Rashid said, “What it will come down to, though, is not so much the price of the device as much as the availability and price of the textbooks on each device”. CEO Rashid also declared that that the number of textbook titles available on the “Kindle Dx will not be more than ours.” By the time, the KNO gets into students hands there will be tens of thousands of textbook titles for sale at 30 to 50 percent cheaper than the print editions. The KNO should pay for itself within three semesters, and students will not have to lug around a backpack full of paper textbooks. They can also take notes on the KNO.
The money is in the textbooks and apps, not in the hardware. “We don’t see ourselves as a hardware platform, but as a learning platform company,” says Rashid. In a year or two, it is not hard to imagine that $599 KNO costing only half as much, opening up the world of digital textbooks to even more students.
For more information, go to: http://www.kno.com
Blog piece by Olu Oyekanmi and you can follow him on Twitter here: @oluoyekanmi
NosaDigital is an online store that provides electronic and audio books. NosaDigital sells fiction and non-fiction for both book formats. NosaDigital also deals in eBook readers as well as MP3 players, and iPods.
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