A Conversation with Ray Kurzweil and Tim O'Reilly (TOCCON)

O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference 2010The last session last night at O’Reilly Publishing Tools of Change (TOC) conference in New York was A Conversation with Ray Kurzweil and Tim O’Reilly — an extremely interesting conversation between two very bright minds. “Ray Kurzweil invented the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller.”

Ray’s latest product is Blio — a free ereader. It has 1m free books + some paid for books in its catalogue. Blio is very interactive: audio, video, quizzes, annotations, various views, very impressive text-to-speech. For audiobooks, can sync audio with text (as word gets read it is highlighted — karaole style). Very cool! Blio books are actually online (web-based) so they can be updated by authors at any time.

I know that a major publisher in South Africa will be using the Blio to distribute its content (when the Blio becomes available).

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