Amazon.com on Tuesday released free software that lets people read the online retail titan's electronic Kindle books on personal computers.
The Kindle for PC application syncs with Amazon's popular e-readers so people can switch from one to the other without losing track of which page they were on in a given work.
"Kindle for PC is the perfect companion application for customers who own a Kindle or Kindle DX," said Amazon vice president Ian Freed.
"Kindle for PC is also a great way for people around the world to access a huge selection from the Kindle Store and read the most popular books of today even if they don't yet have a Kindle."
Amazon e-books can also be read on Apple iPhone or iPod Touch devices. The Kindle store online at amazon.com/kindlestore boasts a library of 360,000 digitized books for sale.
The new application can be downloaded free in more than 100 countries at www.amazon.com/KindleforPC .
Program features include letting people read books in color, prompting speculation that a Kindle device capable of graphics in more than just black-and-white is on the way.
Computer chip giant Intel meanwhile unveiled a handheld device designed for people with vision or reading difficulties.
The Intel Reader is about the size of a paperback book and converts standard size text into a digital format, then automatically reads it aloud. The devices scan written words using built-in cameras.
"As someone who is part of this dyslexic community, I am thrilled to be able to help level the playing field for people who, like me, do not have easy access to the printed word," said Intel researcher Ben Foss.
"Feelings of loneliness are often the experience of not being able to read easily. We hope to open the doors for people in these communities."
(c) 2009 AFP
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