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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 3, No. 12, December 31, 2008
ISSN 1932-3018

Electronic books
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on the steady diffusion of eBooks. More particularly it deals with the advancement in technology readiness level of these devices. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends the Newsbrief is concerned with the functionality of information transmission.
As new technologies become embodied in products and processes they progress through a number of technology readiness levels (TRLs). These range from points of potential, i.e. latent and not yet materialized technologies, to products with widespread commercial applications. The past three years have seen the steady progress of eBooks to ever higher TRLs - i.e., advancing from advanced prototypes to commercially available products.
The launch of Amazon's eBook, branded as Kindle, prompted one securities analyst to upgrade the company's stock price outlook. The argument for the upgrade was the pre-cursor market success of other electronic products like the iPod. [Munarriz, R.A. "Is Kindle's Future Really That Bright?" The Motley Fool, August 12, 2008.] In December 2008, Sony ran a full-page advertisement in Vanity Fair for the company's eBook Reader, promising "160 books under one cover". The advertisement positions the Reader as an elegant portal to literary classics.
Technology explorers should follow the attempts by eBook providers to find a viable image and commercial setting. And foresee the impact on related industries. Will the literary download industry have the same impact on book publishing and distribution as the music download industry had on CD production, and as the movie download industry is having on DVD stores?
Also explorers should keep an eye on the competitive development of universal interfaces (UIs). The essence of a UI is to provide, in a single device, a channel for all information flows. [See Technoscan Newsbrief, Vol. 1, No. 7, November 30, 2006.]

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.