New Delhi: Technology firm Infibeam.com has come out with a home-grown e-book reader called Pi that can read e-books in Hindi, Sanskrit and several other Indian languages.
Pi is available at an initial cost of Rs9,999. Users can carry their own library of up to 100 e-books on the device, and increase the number to 3,000 by adding a 4 GB memory card for Rs300-400.
Pi allows readers to change the font size, bookmark pages and even search the text. Its eight-level grey scale, with no backlit display, provides a clear reading experience.
The device also has an e-book store, a website for customers to purchase digital content, and inDigi, a digital platform for publishers and content providers or digitzation and distribution of content. It can also work on the computer as a programme.
Most e-books are international editions priced at Rs500-1,000. “As no domestic digitization of the content is done in our country and (e-books) are provided by the international dealers, the prices of these books remain (the) same as their store prices,” said Sachin Oswal, senior vice-president, Infibeam.com.
A few titles from well-known Indian authors such as Kiran Desai, Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Khushwant Singh and Arundhati Roy are also available for Rs250-500. But the e-book store doesn’t have the works of Indian best-selling authors such as Chetan Bhagat.
Pi also supports a music library and comes with a headphone.
Oswal said the firm has sold at least 1,000 units. The technology, he said, has the potential to revolutionize education in India by doing away with textbooks. “Its...battery, that can work for a week, enables about four-five students to share a single Pi. This is particularly effective in rural areas where there is a shortage of resources and electricity,” Oswal said.
Mount Carmel in Delhi and a government-run school in Gujarat are already testing it out to see if Pi can replace textbooks.
Infibeam is also in talks with the National Council of Educational Research and Training to make textbooks available in digital format.