E-Readers have become more and more popular since the first Kindle was introduced in 2007. Unbeknownst to popular belief, the first e-book concept was created by Alan Kay in 1968 with the Dynabook...! With children in mind as the target audience and funding from the US Department of Defense, the original concept of the Dynabook never was developed...
The Dynabook concept, created by Alan Kay in 1968, described what is now known as a laptop computer or (in some of its other incarnations) a tablet PC or slate computer with nearly eternal battery life and software aimed at giving children access to digital media. Adults could also use a Dynabook, but the target audience was children.
Part of the motivation and funding for the Dynabook project came from the need for portable military maintenance, repair and operational documentation. The paper-form of the field repair documentation for a single tank was larger than the tank itself. Eliminating the need to move mountains of difficult-to-access paper in a dynamic military theater provided significant U.S. Department of Defense funding.
Today E-Readers (like the Kindle and Nook) and Tablet Computers (like the iPad and Galaxy Tab) are on the rise incorporating technology that was unattainable in the late 1960's... such as ultra-thin color displays, e-ink, multi-touch controls, long battery life, the internet and much more.Though the hardware required to create a Dynabook is here today, Alan Kay still thinks the Dynabook hasn't been invented yet, because key software and educational curriculum are missing. When Microsoft came up with its tablet PC, Kay was quoted as saying "Microsoft's Tablet PC, the first Dynabook-like computer good enough to criticize," a comment he had earlier applied to the Apple Macintosh.
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