The Copia eBook Platform and Hardware Get Social With eReadingS

Copia is an open platform that wants to help you share with the world world exactly how you rate the entire Norah Roberts oeuvre. It's like Goodreads on steroids, and it's paired with two new lines of eBook readers.

First, the platform. Copia is a social networking platform that lets you set up a profile, rate and buy books, and share recommendations with your friends. You can also form and join discussion groups, both public and private, and gives you personalized recommendations based on what your friends have been reading. It has a web presence at thecopia.com, but will also be a platform hosted by various hardware partners to be named later.

So as not to depend entirely on those partnerships, parent company DMC Worldwide will also be producing two lines of eBook readers: Ocean and Tidal. The readers range from 6-inches to 9-inches, and include both capacitive touch displays and QWERTY keyboard models as well as black and white ePaper and color TFT screen options.

The private beta for Copia begins this month, with the public beta launching in March. The readers will be available online beginning in April, with prices ranging from $199 to $299. It's a slow roll-out, but probably necessarily so: social platforms like Copia require a a robust audience to be effective, and at the current levels of eBook adoption it's hard to see there being enough of a network presently.

DMC Worldwide Unveils COPIA:

An Open Platform for Delivering eBooks, Entertainment Content and a Collaborative Social Experience

TheCopia.com Combines Content, Community and Commerce through Social Networking and Shared Discovery; Broad Lineup of Wireless Devices Introduced to Further the Experience

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2010 – DMC Worldwide (DMCWW), a leading enterprise and consumer technology company today introduced COPIA, an open platform that combines content, social networking and e-commerce with an array of wireless e-readers to deliver an experience around shared discovery. The COPIA platform reinvents the way consumers experience content.

The COPIA platform is a hybrid solution for consumers of all ages to experience a completely new way to discover, enjoy, share and purchase books, newspapers, magazines and a wide variety of digital content and a software application engine for OEM brands looking to deliver content across their digital devices including e-readers, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and smartphones.

"Today, eBook content is delivered across one of two typical business models: a vast online store or a social networking service," said Anthony Antolino, SVP, DMC Worldwide. "The COPIA platform is the first of its kind to combine content, collaboration, social networking and e-commerce together to connect people through a collaborative experience. We developed COPIA to allow users to discover and connect to each other through meaningful content regardless of the digital devices they are using. We also created the flexible COPIA engine that enables third-party device manufacturers to awaken existing and new devices to a wide variety of collaborative entertainment possibilities – reading and beyond. The COPIA experience will have a lasting influence on how people engage with and consume content."

In addition to launching COPIA, DMC Worldwide today also unveiled a diverse lineup of e-reader devices. The product offering includes both monochrome e-paper-based touchscreens and advanced color devices designed for rich color content. The devices are designed to extend the collaborative COPIA experience to readers across all genres of content and meet the needs of channel partners including mass market, entertainment, K-12 education as well as higher education.

"No single device on the marketplace today can adequately serve the consumer's ferocious appetite for content consumption," said Ben Lowinger, EVP, DMC Worldwide. "DMC's lineup of devices powered by COPIA matches perfectly to the experience of reading in black and white e-paper or rich media. We've developed the devices after carefully analyzing the needs and expectations of our audience and believe that we've developed both an online and hardware platform for delivering and sharing meaningful entertainment content now and in the future."

TheCopia.com provides its community with a compelling set of intuitive features, including:

* Social Networking Compatibility - Community profiles are linked to existing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts enabling users to easily share content across social media platforms.

* Collaboration Tools - Students, as well as book groups, can highlight, annotate, and share reading content with those who are important to them. In addition, users can access the most useful annotations from the entire community.

* Multi-Dimensional Browsing Experience - Real-world book browsing simulates how people typically view and select books in a store. Relevant eBook content can also be displayed in various ways for users to browse and find what's most relevant. Content can be browsed by community rating, tags from users or publishers, notations, popularity and price.

* Intuitive Search and Display Features - TheCopia.com makes it simple to find meaningful reading content by offering multiple paths to discovery. Users can easily filter search criteria to pinpoint what they're looking for. Search results are provided in dynamic content views, enabling users to toggle between list views to expanded views, to easily compare across lots of content.

* Personalized Home Dashboards - Each user connects to others via a home dashboard that displays consumed content and personalized reading recommendations from friends.

* Unique Book Profiles - Books are given a social meaning by a community value score that connects to user ratings and reviews. Social recommendations are powered by user feedback and a proprietary numerical system.

* Book Clubs Re-Envisioned - Users can create book groups to discuss and share reading experiences. Users can also set personal data metrics for reading goals, create milestones and set challenges amongst friends to further reading as a social experience.

COPIA will begin its private, limited-invitation beta in Jan. 2010. The public beta will launch in March 2010. The site will offer a compelling array of content relevant to a wide range of ages, interests and genres across best-sellers, popular titles, textbooks, public domain titles, with new content being added daily.

The e-readers will be available for purchase online in April 2010 and at retail by June 2010.