The WikiReader is a small, palm-sized gadget which was created for one reason and one reason only - to allow users access to over three million Wikipedia encyclopedia articles whilst on the move. It's a basic device with a monochrome touchscreen and three buttons, nothing special. It also packs in a microSD card reader which stores the articles and draws it's power from a pair of standard AAA batteries, claiming a 1 year battery life.
The device is created by OpenMoko, the people who tried to create FreeRunner, an open source mobile phone. However, the WikiReader, unlike the FreeRunner, features no communications capability at all, there is no connectivity whatsoever, meaning you can't edit or publish articles, just browse.
To update, you have to remove the microSD card and place it into a memory card reader to update the constantly changing Wikipedia entries, or users can pay for a subscription service where users will receive a new microSD card with updated articles on it by post, twice a year, for a $29 fee.
The idea behind the device is good and there will be uses for some people, but with alot of people now owning smart phones and unlimited data plans, it seems to be a case of too little, too late for OpenMoko. Again.
The WikiReader is available from OpenMoko
now, for $99 or roughly £62.