Blio is an accessible e-reader software platform from Ray Kurzweil and K-NFB Reading Technology Inc.
Ray Kurzweil is well known in the accessibility field. He has been inventing reading machines and devices used by people with visual- and reading disabilities for 35 years. His latest achievement is Blio, an e-reader software platform unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2010 as the latest innovation from K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc. (K-NFB), a leader in document processing, handling and display.
Blio is not a device, it is a "platform" that could run on any device such as cell phones, iPod, Apple iPad, and computers. Blio is software intended to be loaded on a variety of devices. It is full-color, animated and interactive, It supports embedded web content, video and audio. and can render in a variety of ways, all of which are smoothly animated. Any book can be converted into the Blio format.
Unlike other eReaders like the Kindle and Sony e-book reader, Blio preserves typography, illustrations and color, and allows the user to insert highlights, notes, videos, and even web-pages. This makes it very attractive to publishers of How-To guides and cook books where images and other non-text components are very important.
In terms of accessibility for the blind and vision impaired Blio is capable of reading books out loud using TTS (text-to-speech) or a synchronized audio track. Blio can also highlight words as they are spoken so you can look and listen at the same time. The Blio e-reader platform also has a text-only mode, which is good for minimizing distractions and displaying on smaller resolution screens
It has been reported that Blio will be free of charge and available for Computers, iPod Touch, and iPhone. In addition Blio will also have a bookstore with plans to launch with over a million titles; several hundred thousand will be newer titles which will be available for purchase, while the rest will be in the public domain.
When will the BLIO Software be Released: At this stage we are not sure as the release date is behind schedule, but we will keep you updated as soon as we know the actual pending Blio release date.
Further information and specifications for the Blio platform can be found at www.blioreader.com