French Telecoms giant Orange has announced a pilot for a 3G-enabled mobile newspaper kiosk which is not unlike Amazon's own e-reader device, the Kindle.
Presented as a device incorporating Wifi/3G coupled connectivity with a dedicated distribution platform, The Read&Go is only a two month trial scheme for now but Orange's clout would allow it to spread it across Europe rapidly should the trial be successful.
Five major French newspapers have been signed for the project for the time being : Le Monde, Le Parisien, Les Echos, L’Equipe and Télérama.
150 testers have been recruited to give the Read&Go a try and the electronic newspapers will be refreshed every hour in a constant loop from 6am to midnight.
The device has a 1GB onboard storage capacity and it is unknown whether there are any memory card reader onboard.
It does however have at least one USB port to which a WiFi dongle can be attached.
Read&Go will be able to store up to 200 newspapers and also contain a library of 30 books from major book French publishers.
The technology used by Read&Go is similar to the Kindle as it uses a polarised microbead screen which mimics the reading experience of ink on paper.
Orange will also integrate geolocation and targeting of the readers requirements.
Pictures are courtesy of Orange's Innovation.TV channel
The screen's high contrast means that the reader will have a pleasant reading experience even in direct sunlight. Note that the Read&Go comes with a stylus.
The screen has a high resolution and although it can only a few shades of gray (up to 16 it seems), this should be sufficient to mimic a conventional newspaper design.