While at the Beam Presents event earlier today I caught up with Phil Wood, marketing director of Interead who make the new ereader the COOL-ER.
In case you missed its recent announcements the company has secured distribution for the COOL-ER in Argos and has confirmed that its Coolerbooks.com store now has access to Google’s huge book library. It is clear that this is a company with big plans. Managing Director Neil Jones is a serial entrepreneur who passionately believes that there is a great opportunity for manufacturers who move quickly into the market. It is clear that a market is emerging with Amazon predicted to sell over a million of its Kindle readers this year.
While the COOL-ER is light, skinny and easy to use and quite the equal of its small group of direct rivals, the ereader market is about to get a lot hotter. Last week ASUS confirmed that its Eee-book ereader would go on sale before Christmas and would include two colour screens, a built-in web browser and a webcam. And, in spite of its very impressive feature list it would retail for under £100.
So how are Interead, the manufacturer of COOL-ER going to respond? Marketing director Phil Wood told me that the company had big plans for January 2010. While dual screens certainly aren’t on the company’s road map, a larger colour screen certainly is. The company is also considering working with a UK mobile phone network to add communication/data transfer facilities. This would enable users to download books over the air (which could be a nice little earner for a mobile phone network) as well as enable the COOL-ER to moonlight as a web browser.
Well we’ll wait and see, but it is encouraging to see a UK company with global ambitions in on a market very early.