In Part 1 of this post I answered questions and gave my perspective as a an academic librarian who has been following ebook developments. In this post I'll highlight some fun technologies which may further influence these markets.
In the Wired Magazine post, "Clive Thompson on the Future of Reading in a Digital World," the author states "We need to stop thinking about the future of publishing and think instead about the future of reading."
This NPR broadcast with transcript and podcast "Chat While Reading: The Future of Books?" includes a link to Book Glutton (in beta, good concept and has potential for higher education).
Personally, I'm waiting and expecting a lot from new devices being released this year. Basically, I want a reader that is an "everything device." I would be satisfied for now with any of the devices in the Editis video below :)
Descrption: The french publishing group Editis's short fictional video is about the likely future of books. This video does not represent Editis's digital strategy regarding the epublishing market. However, it does hope to open discussions on the different economic models and the functionalities of future ebook readers. Filmed in 2007, this is the latest version with english subtitles. (Note: the first minute is blank and has been reported.).
Link to YouTube version
Another technology which could have a significant effect on books, ebooks and ubiquitous information access is Augmented Reality (AR). AR has been around since the mid 70s but only recently began seeing mainstream adoption mainly due to mobile devices as shared in a prior post with videos.
Link to YouTube version
I'm excited over what new technologies we'll see next. I'm ready to hear the full story on the rumored new Apple Tablet/Touch/iPad/? device due to be announced soon. I'm hopeful it will include a very nice built in ebook reader or else a wonderful app with which I can view my ebooks along with full computer functions and remember the etextbooks too.
Lastly, academic librarians are acutely aware of how quickly technology is changing and the effect that has on information access. It's difficult to predict how things will evolve. I'm adding a couple of links below to movements I'm following and believe could impact future information access directions.
Perhaps someday a mobile device won't be important: Article on MIT's Sixth Sense and on TED
The Living Book: The book written entirely in QR codes