Sharp announced today that it is developing a new cloud-based media service business called Galapagos. The company will start by releasing two tablets and an e-bookstore. Sharp says the tablets are developed specifically as e-book readers. They will reportedly run Android as the OS.
The initiative is aimed at the Japanese market.
The tablets will be a mobile type featuring a 5.5-inch LCD screen that reads like a paperback book, and a home type featuring a 10.8-inch high-resolution HD LCD that allows users to enjoy magazines formatted across a two-page spread. Other features include:
– Track ball feature in the mobile type with 5.5-inch screen. Users can rotate the track ball like a PC mouse and can flip the pages with one hand.
– Sharp’s e-book application software for PC “GALAPAGOS Station” enables users to organize downloaded content on PCs. Users can mark and add comments on the e-book content.
– PC data, including documents and maps, can be converted to XMDF format, and can be viewed on the media tablet.
– Web browser will display websites for PCs on a high resolution LCD screen.
– Pre-installed social network service application enables sharing readers’ comments and e-book list with friends.
The e-bookstore provides an "automatic scheduled delivery service" – a fee-based service for periodical publications. When a user subscribes, they will receive the most recent editions.
The service is planned for December with about 30,000 newspapers, magazines, and books.