Thursday, July 5, 2012

First look at EPUB3-supporting Kobo Touch ereader in Japan

New Kobo Touch in Tokyo JapanZen again (and what a place for it!) A friend asked me to pick up a copy of the Manga version of Math Girls, so we went to Bunkyo-do, a large bookstore in Tokyo. (It was remarkably packed with shoppers, and had lovely displays.) And lo and behold, the folks from Kobo/Rakuten were there demoing the new Kobo Touch with Japanese language support (aka EPUB 3). Here's what it looks like:

New Kobo Touch in Tokyo JapanNew Kobo Touch in Tokyo Japan

I haven't seen the Kobo Touch in the US, but I assume it's pretty similar: nice touch screen, customary padded back, Twitter and FB sharing, ability to select, highlight, and annotate, and in this version, look up words in a Japanese dictionary (although only in the flowing examples, not the manga, which still has static text). Most important: excellent support for vertical Japanese text.

I have a lot of notes I want to share about the IDPF EPUB 3 conference on Wednesday, but one of the interesting points was how the need for Japanese (and other non-Roman) language support may push more ebook publishers and retailers to move to EPUB 3. Rakuten/Kobo, for example, announced that all of its Japanese ebooks will be in EPUB 3 format.

Oh yeah, and it comes in four colors. (And costs 7990 yen, about $99.)

New Kobo Touch in Tokyo Japan

1 comment:

  1. I have the purple Kobo Touch, and I have to say that it's one of my favorite readers. I prefer it to the Kindle Touch since it's lighter and a bit more responsive.

    Kobo gets extra props from me right now since I discovered that The iPad app successfully reads the EPUB3 spec as an EPUB3 file.

    My one big longing is for Kobo to fix their highlighting functionality across the board. It's totally wonky on the Vox and lacking in EPUB3 on the iPad (I haven't tried it with anything other than EPUB3 on the iPad).

    I want highlighting to work like it does in iBooks!


More of my books