Meet Alex, from Spring Design, an eBook reader that supplements its monochrome electronic paper display with a secondary colour screen that 'livens up text' with multimedia links. In other words, it makes reading books and newspapers more like reading the web - perfect for those of us whose attention spans have been destroyed by technology.
Alex offers full web broswing over Wi-Fi and 3G (or EVDO/CDMA in America), but the idea is that publishers embed links in the text - creating live footnotes for further reading. Web content can be cached onto the device's internal memory, and swapped to the monochrome screen to preserve battery life.
Until now, eBooks have been something of a mystery to me: while I like the idea of making reading more gadgety, I struggle to find the time to read novels these days. I can't help agreeing with @rojblake's tweet on the subject: "l start reading books when I've finished reading everything on the internet." Well, now we can do both. Simultaneously.
Alex apparently has 'full smartphone cabilities', too, but we'll have to wait for its release 'by the end of the year' to find out if that includes voice calls.