Sharp announced plans to enter the eBook market today. Sharp did not announce an eReader device yet, but a new format. Sharp's next-generation XMDF with advanced features that allow users to enjoy video and audio content, in addition to current features such as texts and still images.
With next-generation XMDF as a core technology, Sharp will within this year provide a digital platform to promote an e-book distribution service and launch compatible reader devices to enter the e-book market.
Various publishing houses (newspaper, magazines, catalogs), printing and agent companies in Japan and overseas market will be supporting Sharp to launch this e-book business.
Sharp’s next-generation XMDF is an advanced version of the current XMDF format. The current XMDF format was commercialized in 2001 and is used in e-book contents including Japanese novels and manga comics. The next-generation XMDF enables easy viewing of digital contents including video and audio, and allows automatic adjustment of the layout to match and meet publishers' needs.
With this digital platform, Sharp plans to enhance users' e-book lifestyle with more sophisticated user interface technology, and at the same time will contribute to expanding the e-book market. XMDF allows users to browse the same content on multiple terminals including smart phones, PCs and TVs and also streamlines publisher’s e-book contents production.
Let's see what impact Sharp can make with their eBook platform and upcoming eBook readers. In the meantime Amazon Kindle rules the eBook world.