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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.

Related Links

WikiReader sends you Wikipedia updates… by Snailmail (opens in new tab)

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WikiReader puts the ped into Wikipedia (opens in new tab)

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Put Wikipedia in Your Pocket for $99 with New Gadget (opens in new tab)

(PC Mag)

WikiReader portable offline Wikipedia device launched (opens in new tab)

(Techwatch)

WikiReader: ex-Apple designer puts Wikipedia in your pocket (opens in new tab)

(Mirror)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.