OpenMoko Unleashes Tiny Wikireader Device

Open source manufacturer OpenMoko has announced the launch of a new device called Wikireader which allows users to browser over three million Wikipedia entries without having to go online.

Given the fact that Wikipedia has just under 3.08 million entries, OpenMoko has done a pretty good job of replicating the content on the popular knowledge website with the WikiReader.

The $99 gadget - the love child of a former Apple designer - is small enough to fit in a trouser pocket and comes with a 4.5-inch monochrome touchscreen. It won't be able to display images but will happily navigate through hyperlinks in the articles.

The entire encyclopedia fits in a 8GB microSD card and the Wikireader runs on a pair of AAA batteries for a whole year worth of regular usage (that's 15 minutes every day). The articles database is updated every year via the post and will cost you $29.

But I am not sure how it will compete against the likes of the iPod Touch or the iPhone and the countless number of applications or downloadable versions of Wikipedia that already exists, for free and are regularly updated.

Our Comments

I may be extremely harsh but I consider the Wikireader to be one of the most useless devices launched in the past few months. It might be useful to someone that goes hiking or travels to places where phone networks are quasi nonexistent. But for the rest of us, I struggle to find out who will buy a gadget that appears to be ten years late.

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