September 06, 2013, 6:00 AM —
Sometimes I learn about a gadget that is (on paper anyway) so crazy and awesome that I have to share it with my readers even if I don't honestly know all that much about it. And hey, it's casual Friday, right? Let's have some fun.
So the gadget is called Run-n-Read and it's coming from a company called Weartrons. It's a device intended to facilitate reading an ebook while running on a treadmill. You clip it onto your shirt or a headband and it reads your body's movement and then moves the text in an e-reader app (Android and iOS supported) in sync with your body.
In other words, as your head bobs up and down, the text on the screen moves up and down at the same pace, with the end result being that the text seems steady from your point of view.
If you get motion-sickness while reading in a car or on a train, it might help with that, too. Here's their video pitch:
Now, assuming the basic tech actually works, my only real concern is that it seems like you need to use their e-reader software, so forget about reading your Kindle collection. Maybe if the product takes off they can get Amazon to incorporate support into the various Kindle apps.
Anyway Weartrons is trying to crowd-fund this device through Dragon Innovation. They're trying to raise $30,000 and the campaign just started. As of now, a $55 pledge will get you one when it ships.
It all seems a bit too good to be true to me. It seems like there has to be some lag between the device and your e-reader, plus if the thing is on your shirt how does it know how much your head is bobbing? Wearing it on a headband seems like it'd produce better results. But hey, maybe this is why I'm just the dumb blogger and they're the entrepreneurs! I probably would've been skeptical of Edison and that crazy light bulb invention of his, too.
I'm intrigued by the concept but I don't run on a treadmill so I can't really justify pledging $55 for a Run-n-Read, but it's such a crazy idea, I just had to share it. Engadget covered Run-n-Read too, in case you're interested in learning more. If anyone takes the plunge, please make a point of letting us know how well it works, once you get it!
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.