This week should see the launch of a newer, bigger-screened Amazon Kindle device. The naysayers are all awash in predictions of doom, mostly surrounding the theory that throwing a life-line to traditional newspapers by letting them format properly on a bigger Kindle is just a waste of energy and money, that newspapers will be failing anyway.
I’m not so quick to discount the value of a larger Kindle, myself, and it has nothing to do with newspapers. One of the bigger downfalls of the Kindle is the inability for it to properly display larger formats, like magazines, newspapers, and textbooks. And since I work on a college campus, that last one interests me the most. Wouldn’t it be great to carry one book on campus, instead of a backpack full of books? Especially since some of these books are huge, 10-pound monstrosities. And for the visually impaired, who just need enlarged text, the larger Kindle could be the tool they need to be successful in class, without having to carry around enlarged text, and without having to be hooked up to a computer to use a screen-enlarging device.
I see a lot of advantages to a larger Kindle, for certain audiences. Despite the issues still be worked out regarding text-to-audio functionality in the Kindle, I’m still seeing a product that will server a broader market, in ways Amazon never thought of when they were making the Kindle in the first place. I’m looking forward to Thursdays announcement of the new Kindle, and hoping to see specs listed soon so I can confirm my suspicions about the usefulness of the device for the visually impaired.