The miBook is a US$130 PDA with a 7" screen that teaches skills to people through step-by-step videos and other multimedia. Now, we don't like to reinforce gender stereotypes, but the pictures of each US$20 title in the gallery below, such as cooking, gardening and home decorating show a woman learning the job—all except the diaper changing lesson, which shows a man. It's sold without onboard memory,
but they must think women are pretty stupid if they expect to charge $150 for 128MB. The rest of miBook's specs are gender neutral:UPDATE: That's a typo in the spec sheet, the 128MB memory is a much more reasonable US$1.50, but it's for retailers only.
It works as a digital picture frame and supports MPEG video, MP3 audio and SD/xD/MS/MMC cards for much cheaper storage. We're holding out for the guy's version, when we can learn how to clean gutters, take out the trash and scratch our balls. Coming soon, spec sheet and press release after the jump. [miBook]
Portable Take anywhere! Battery & AC capable
LCD Size 7" (16:9)
LCD Type New advanced TFT
LCD Backlight New LED! (same as on new high-end laptops, for amazing brightness & colour accuracy) (not CCFL)
Graphic Interface Highly advanced - including hot spots, pop-up menus & file preview shots for fun, easy, graphic navigation
Player Controls Tactical switches
Remote Control Yes
Battery Yes, Lithium
Shows Photos All formats (jpeg, etc.)
Photo Zoom 5 zoom levels
Photo Thumbnails Yes
Photo Rotation Yes
Photo Aspect Ratio 16:9 & 4:3 modes
Image Controls Brightness, contrast, color
Shows Videos All formats (MPEG-I, MPEG-II, MPEG-IV, etc.)
Plays Music All formats (mp3, etc.)
Slideshow + Music Simple click links desired music & photo files
Calendar & Clock Yes, incl photo display & alarm
Headset Jack Yes
Computer Compact PC & Mac; usb 2.0 cable included
Card Readers SD/MS/MMC/XD (96% of mkt)
Built-In Storage No, add 128MB +$150
Warranty 1 year
Phone Support Toll-free & U.S.-based
miBook, the First Multimedia Book, Launches
Portable multimedia book initially targets cookbooks and other "how-to" titles with help from Food Network, HGTV, the DIY Network and ParentsTV
CLEVELAND, OH — miBook, the first multimedia book, has begun shipping to retailers. miBook brings genres like cookbooks, parenting primers, and travel guides to life with video clips, images and sound, changing the way people cook, fix things up around the home, travel, parent and more.
Using miBook's slim 7" portable player, home cooks who have long struggled to translate recipes into meals can now follow step-by-step video clips showing exactly how a dish should look at every turn. Similarly, travelers long stuck with only a sentence or two to go on when choosing a restaurant can take a video tour and judge the ambience and signature dishes for themselves.
miBook titles, which come on memory cards that slide into the player, are produced in conjunction with television networks including Food Network, HGTV, the DIY Network, and Parents.tv. Initial titles, now numbering 25 but soon to top 100, cover cooking everything from quick and easy meals to party appetizers, home decorating and gardening, home projects and repairs, pregnancy, parenting, and travel to popular destinations. Individual titles have a suggested retail price of $19. 99.
Unlike electronic books that focus on text alone, miBook stands out in that it combines text with video and sound, fusing the strengths of books and TV. Why read it, when you can also see it? Like books, miBook titles are organized into distinct parts that users can access whenever they want and at their own pace, and like TV, they come alive with video clips, images and sound. Highly interactive, miBook stops automatically after each step, allowing users to easily follow the recipe or activity at their own pace. miBook's charm is in its ability to bring subjects to life in new ways and make everyday activities easier. For example, in addition to letting home cooks see a dish at each step, miBook helps plan menus by instantly sorting recipes based on main ingredient, available time, cooking method, and nutritional concerns.
The miBook player, packaged with one or more titles, starts at a suggested retail price of $129.99. miBook is available at retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond, Bon-Ton, Borders, Circuit City, HSN, Linens 'n Things, QVC, and The Source.
miBook Title Topics
Not since the Joy of Cooking was published in 1931 has there been a major update to the cookbook - until now. miBook takes the guesswork out of translating a recipe on the page into a feast on the table. Step-by-step, miBook shows home cooks exactly how to cook a recipe, including what the dish should look like at every stage and how to do everything from sauté to flambé. miBook stops automatically after each step to allow the cook to perform the action. When ready, the cook pushes play to move on.
miBook also aids in choosing a recipe, which can be a task in itself. Simply select your desired main ingredient (beef, chicken, fish, pasta, etc.), cooking method (grilling, pan-frying, broiling, etc.), and the amount of time you have, and miBook automatically serves up the recipes that match your criteria.
miBook cooking titles include: Quick & Easy Meals, Irresistible Desserts, Healthy Cooking, Pastas Pizzas & Salads, Amazing Party Food: Appetizers & Desserts, and Healthy Cooking for Kids. Each title features 150 recipes, including ones featured on popular Food Network shows such as 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller, Cooking Class with Wolfgang Puck, Ace of Cakes, Food 911, and Food Nation with Bobby Flay.
Home and Garden
Whether trying to fix a leaky faucet, redecorate a room, plant a tree, or build a deck, it helps to see exactly how it's done. miBook goes step-by-step with up-close video clips to ensure that home projects get done correctly the first time.
Decorating and gardening titles guide users through both design and execution. The Home Decorating title, for example, helps decorators choose from suggested room styles, colour palettes, furniture layouts, wall treatments, and more. Then it helps users complete the makeover with step-by-step guides on stenciling, wallpapering, staining, and applying faux finishes.
miBook home titles include: Decorating, Gardening, Simple Home Organizing, Home Projects, Home Repairs, and Outdoor living Projects. Project assistance comes from HGTV and the DIY Network, including such shows as Design on a Dime, Mission Organisation, First Time Gardener, and Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean.
Next time dad conveniently whines that he doesn't know how to change a diaper, hand him one of miBook's parenting titles. You'll hear no more excuses. With content from Parents.tv, the sister network to Parents magazine, miBook brings every parenting activity vividly to life. See and hear how it's done, from basic baby care like swaddling to fostering cognitive development. Each month, pregnant mums can see how a baby develops in the womb. Video interviews with OB/GYNs, pediatricians, nutritionists, parents, and kids help to illustrate tasks and development. miBook parenting titles include: Your Pregnancy, Baby's First Year, Your Toddler, Your Child's Health (0-12), Potty Training, and Games & Activities for Babies & Toddlers.
In a travel guide come to life with video clips, images and sound, travelers can explore attractions and museums, tour neighborhoods, and preview restaurants interactively and at their own pace.
miBook has a guide for every type of adventure. City guides include neighbourhood walking tours, which show historical footage that bring the past to life. Inside museums, the miBook guides visitors to must-see exhibits, shows interviews with artists, clips of their hometown, and examples of their other works. Attraction guides highlight top rides and events. Highly interactive, miBook stops after each step, letting travelers proceed at their own pace. When it's time to eat, by simply inputting preferred cuisine, neighbourhood, ambience, and price range, the miBook instantly serves up the best choices. Discerning diners can even choose their meal locations before leaving their homes with video tours of each restaurant, including interior and exterior views, signature dishes, and menus - even hearing an interview with the chef.
miBook travel titles include: Boston, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, San Fra ncisco, Washington D.C., and The National Parks.
miBook can also be used as a digital photo album and frame, allowing users to show their photos individually or as a slideshow. miBook also plays home videos, Internet videos, and MP3s; it can either be wirelessly powered through its changeable lithium battery or with the included AC adaptor. The miBook menus can be conveniently navigated either with controls on the device or via the included wireless remote.