The Kno single screen tablet builds on the company's dual screen version, offering full browser and email support.
Digital textbook manufacturer Kno announced the release of a
single screen version of its tablet textbook. The single screen version
extends the functionality of the dual screen version announced in June.
Kno, short for knowledge, is a learning platform that blends a
touch-screen tablet, digital textbooks, course materials, note-taking,
Web access, educational applications, digital media, sharing and more
into an educational experience that the company said is not available
on any other tablet or e-reader currently on the market.
The company plans to ship both the single and two-screen tablet
textbooks to consumers by the end of 2010. Pricing and preorder
announcements would be made in the coming months, according to a
company release. "From day one, we designed the Kno with flexibility in
mind," said Babur Habib, CTO and co-founder of Kno. "We developed the
product to have multiple configurations and meet different student
needs. The single screen maintains the elegance of our fluid, intuitive
interface while capturing the richness and -page fidelity' of the
Osman Rashid, co-founder of Chegg and Babur Habib, founded the company
in May 2009. Kno has a team of management from Apple, Cisco, HP, Intel,
TiVo, Chegg and Palm, and the company has received funding from
Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Maples and Ron Conway. In
July, the company sent surveys to college students, parents, educators
and developers on their advisory panel: The survey found nearly
three-quarters (74 percent) of students said lecture notes and class
notes are their most valuable study materials, while 59 percent also
said the ability to access external online content (educational
Websites, reference sites) to help them learn subjects in a textbook
be very useful.
Eighty-three percent of parents said they are involved in Kno's
advisory panel because they want to give their children every
opportunity to succeed in school, while 88 percent of educators
surveyed said they believe the interactivity of content in a digital
textbook could help reinforce or teach a concepts. For developers, 83
percent said they are interested in developing applications for the Kno
"Kno fundamentally improves the way students learn," said Osman Rashid,
the CEO and co-founder of Kno. "We are driven to innovate in a category
that has been static for too long. Even though the Kno pays for itself
in 13 months, the smaller up front investment of the single screen
version will allow more students to use our learning platform."
The company unveiled the first version of the Kno in June, which
offered full browser support, access to email accounts and the ability
to send coursework to professors. The Kno supports Flash, HTML5, PDF
and ePub content. Kno also said that it has established strategic
relationships with higher education publishers Cengage Learning, McGraw
Hill Education, Pearson and Wiley to launch a student beta program in
fall 2010 with a number of universities and colleges across the United States.
Additionally, Kno is currently working with developers and it will come
bundled with a variety of education-focused applications.
Simultaneously with the full product launch, Kno.com said it would
offer a store for developers to host and sell their applications and
for students to download textbooks and course materials.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.