The blog Fusible discovered earlier this week that Amazon has registered the domain names KindleScribe.com and KindleScribes.com, prompting speculation that the next Kindle will include note-taking capabilities. Jared Newman over at Time’s Techland went on to pair that possibility with the fact that Amazon recently started a textbook rental program, which could certainly benefit from a virtual scribbling feature. Add on a function like LiveScribe, which syncs audio recordings, says Newman, and he’d be sold on the device.
For me, a note-taking feature could be compelling on the Kindle, but only if notes could be easily transferred to my PC, ideally with some sort of improved OCR handwriting-decoder technology. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stood with execs at trade shows trying to balance my netbook on one arm while examining new products, listening attentively, and keeping track of the other gadgets in my possession (camera, phone, data stick, etc.). I have been known to take notes on regular old notepads, but invariably when I go to do a write-up later on, I don’t have the right notepad with me. Or I run out of paper during an interview. Or I can’t find a working pen.
A digital note-taking option would fix my dilemma if I could then transfer any notes to the PC where I actually produce content. Having notes stuck on a separate device wouldn’t be any help at all, but if Amazon made them easily transferable, I might be convinced to upgrade my existing Kindle. It’s an opportunity I’ll likely be able to consider more seriously soon. Amazon recently reduced the price of its refurbished third-generation e-readers, suggesting that the next-gen Kindle 4 is not far from launch. Or perhaps this is all in preparation for Amazon’s new tablet? We’ve missed the back-to-school rush, but I see good things ahead for pre-holiday shopping.