How often do you access Wikipedia? How often have you wished you could access that information goldmine but couldn’t because you were away from your computer and Internet connection? If the answer to both questions is “All the freakin’ time!” you’ll want to check out the WikiReader.
This wickedly simple device puts 3 million Wikipedia articles at your fingertips wherever you happen to be. While some would argue you can already do that with any smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, you won’t get your answers anywhere as fast as the WikiReader can deliver them. That’s because a massive chunk of the Wikipedia is stored on a removable 8GB MicroSD card inside the device itself.
The WikiReader powers up in less than three seconds and delivers results even faster. It runs on two AA batteries, which the manufacturer (Openmoko) claims will power the gadget for a full year (based on 15 minutes of use each day). The device automatically powers itself off after two minutes of inactivity. Openmoko puts disposable alkaline batteries in the box, but environmentally conscious folk can replace these with the rechargeable variety.
While not a banana, a good chuck of knowledge in your pocket might be the next best thing. Openmoko today announced the availability of the WikiReader, a palm-sized device that contains more than three million English language articles from Wikipedia, accessible at any time you please--no internet access required.
The WikiReader was crafted by former Apple Computer and surfboard designer Thomas Meyerhoffer. It has a large monochrome touch interface screen. Articles are scrolled, iPod Touch-like, with the swipe of a finger, and hyperlinks selected with a mere tap. Buttons are available for searching, reviewing your history, and pulling up a random entry. The WikiReader, it is claimed, will operate for “months” on a pair of AAA batteries.
Updates for the WikiReader will be available quarterly, and available for free download at the WikiReader website. Openmoko will also offer a yearly subscription plan that includes an updated microSD card.
The WikiReader is available at WikiReader.com and Amazon. The cost is $99. Annual updates via microSD card will cost $29.