You might’ve heard that Amazon released a new Kindle today, the Kindle Fire. Ooh, what a name. I’m a total Apple fanboy, but I think people are gonna love these things. It’s not an iPad and it’s not a portable computer – like Shawn Blanc says, it’s a cheap, portable media center designed to give you immediate access to all of Amazon’s digital offerings. Mashable’s got a great first impressions video, but, all I care about are the ads. Here’s Amazon’s first one:
It’s a fairly decent manifesto / introduction spot that clearly demos the product with a little backstory. My only gripe is with the disingenuous implications of pairing the quote with the product.
The name Kindle Fire comes from the Voltaire quote featured in the spot.
The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.” – Voltaire
Voltaire is talking about the power of knowledge found in books. How we can share that wealth with others and how it can empower us all. But, eBooks aren’t like real books. Specifically, the sharing that Voltaire talks about is severely limited on the Kindle platform. If my neighbor is reading something interesting, then you might be able to fetch it from him if the publisher has enabled sharing. My personal experience has been mixed – some books are available, others not. And even then, you can only lend it out one time for a span of 14 days.
The digital age brings much convenience, but at a price. I wonder if we’re all staring at a future of cheap gadgets designed around a single ecosystem, with manufacturers dictating how we use the stuff we’ve legally purchased.