London. UK. 23rd September 2009 ‐ IREX Technologies (http://www.irextechnologies.com) today unveiled a breakthrough in the e-reading market . A pioneering business model with the consumer at its heart will see the new IREX DR800SG|http://www.irextechnologies.com finally offer consumers and publishers their e-reading freedom. Consumers may wirelessly purchase newspapers, magazines and books from a wide range of sources, and read them not just on the IREX, but on a range of devices. The sleek 8.1 inch reader with 3G technology will be available in Best Buy stores across the US from October 2009 and comes with the Barnes and Noble ebookstore of over 750,000 titles, but offers the opportunity for virtually any publisher or retailer to be included. The DR800SG model which in the US features heavyweight partners Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Verizon Wireless and Qualcomm is set to be replicated with partners in the UK and Europe. The planned launch during 2010 follows the recent establishment of an IREX UK office and the recruitment of former Plastic Logic executive David Edgar as UK Director to bring the model across the Atlantic.
“Make no mistake, consumers are ready for e-readers but they want ease of purchase, unfettered access to content and the freedom to enjoy it whenever and wherever they like, and the current business models have spectacularly failed to deliver that.” Said David Edgar, IREX Director. “The e-ink technology is now well established, but until today none of the business models had addressed the real needs of readers. IREX have shown that an open format and open content approach can make partnerships with publishers, telcos and booksellers and, most crucially, with consumers.”
Although currently one of the lesser known e-reader manufacturers, IREX have been at the forefront of the industry since they grew out of electronics giant Philips and already retail the world’s only ‘writeable’ device for A4 documents, the IREX DR1000. Their strong business to business partnerships see them working with individual companies across the world to tailor the device to their specific requirements in sectors including publishing, healthcare, engineering and the Law. The company is also involved in projects in the education market across Europe.
A seasoned consumer electronics executive David Edgar brought a variety of products to market in partnership with manufacturers and major retailers in Europe and Asia before moving into the evolving digital reading market with UK based digital reader manufacturer Plastic Logic. As one of the leading figures in the digital reading industry in the UK he was an obvious choice to undertake the establishment of the new London UK office and infrastructure and to bring the DR800SG to the UK.
“IREX already have a range of e-readers available in the UK but they have been developed for and specifically aimed at the professional user. The launch of the DR800SG in the US with such major partners is an indication of the scale of our intentions in the European consumer e-reader market and we are in advanced discussions with retailers, publishers, and telcos ahead of a planned UK launch during 2010.” David confirmed.
With several new products rumoured to be launching in the UK within the year the market is becoming increasingly competitive. However, Edgar firmly believes that the design, quality and technology of the DR800SG measures up and the opportunity to have content which is not locked to a specific device will soon transform IREX into an instantly recognisable brand name.
“The DR800SG boasts the most advanced e-reader technology available today, but it’s fair to say that the IREX brand is currently less well known. I believe that once consumers realise the freedom inherent in the IREX model they’ll begin to see us as the ‘Virgin’ of e-reading compared to the Big Brother approach of other companies. We’ve put consumers at the heart of our business. And in the end that’s what will make the difference.”
Key US DR800SG product specifications
• Big screen, compact design – some competitive devices offer a similarly-sized device but with a much smaller display area. IREX’s 8.1-inch screen is ideal for books, magazines and newspapers with detailed graphics.
• Purpose-built device – the DR800SG uses the latest electronic paper display technology to deliver an experience that is closer to reading ordinary paper than possible with a netbook or tablet device. It also has longer battery life and is lightweight.
• Easy navigation – the device turns pages faster than competing products, and navigation is easy with an interactive touch screen and straightforward buttons. Users can search their library or add a bookmark with a tap of a stylus or skim an eBook with a touch of a thumb.
• Customized reading – users can enlarge or reduce text size and margin widths or select portrait or landscape mode to suit their preferences.
Pricing and Availability: The IREX DR800SG with a leather cover will be available in October at all Best Buy locations in the US. The device has an MSRP of $399.99. Wireless access to download content is included in the cost of the DR800SG and no contract is required.
Note to Editors:
About IREX Technologies:
iRex Technologies BV have been instrumental in pushing the frontiers of digital reading since 2001 when their team developed the electronic paper display for the Sony Librié the first commercially available e‐reader launched in 2004. Following the formation of iRex Technologies in 2005 as a spin‐off company from Royal Philips Electronics their focus on open innovation and co‐operation has seen them become the world’s leading provider of solutions for reading written digital content with the ease and comfort of print on paper and taking advantage of the interactivity, flexibility and up‐dating functionality provided by digital information. IREX serves the B2B market as well as the consumer market and works closely with companies and publishers to enable them to offer their content (newspapers, books, documents) digitally to clients, subscribers and employees. http://www.irextechnologies.com
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