Integrating Library Borrowing into eReaders

From Library Journal:

Sony unveiled its latest ereader device today, Reader Wi-Fi, which will be the first dedicated ereader—though not the first device—to offer wireless borrowing of OverDrive library ebook titles. The Reader Wi-Fi, which the company calls “the lightest touch screen 6″ eReader device ever” in the announcement, will be available for purchase in October.

According to Sony Electronics spokesperson Maya Wasserman, the ereader will feature a dedicated icon on its touch screen’s main menu to connect to the OverDrive system, in a similar manner as the OverDrive Media Console app currently available for other devices.

On first glance, this is a very interesting development here. Rather than have people download the app or go through the current loops, it is now part of the out-of-the-box bundle. It removes a few steps out of the eBook borrowing process and makes it something I’ve been wishing for: more integrated. Of course, whether people use it or not is another question but it won’t be from a lack of opportunity.

For me, I see integration here as a step towards integration elsewhere. It means that it is possible, there is one major company that is willing to try it, and that it could become a standard feature of future eReader and tablet computers.

I won’t hold my breath, but no one has ever passed out from crossing their fingers. So, fingers crossed.