Some of the best uses of technology for you and me! Case Study #1 - e-books and e-highlights!

Alok Kejriwal

As a digital entrepreneur, I often feel that there is a great divide between people who 'get' technology and those who don't.

For those who don't dig technology (and I am sure for good reasons of their own), I observe that these people get intimidated by technology and withdraw from using 'it' (devices) and its services 'web' etc.

Starting now, I want to inspire them via a series of blogs titled 'The best uses of Technology for you and me' that showcase real examples of simple technology and how that can delight our daily lives.

I want to push them to accept that tech adoption is a must!

On this note, I invite everyone to be a contributor to these series to help and inspire others!!

Case study #1 - The delight of 'e-highlights' in e-books!!

So, this is my physical book library at home:

Now, imagine carrying this book shelf with me on a plane, or into a hotel.

It's impossible.

You may ask me, "Why on earth would you carry a bookshelf on a trip? Just carry a couple of books, and don't behave like a moron..."

I 'would' have agreed, until the tablets (iPad, Kindle) allowed me to actually carry as many books and bookshelves with me, wherever I wanted - in a plane, in a cave, on a mountain top, in a bathroom.

Check out my iPad 'e-book' shelf:

So, e-books help in ease of reading, transportability, etc etc etc.

Now, we knew that all along, didn't we?

So, let's move on the real point of this story.

While reading a physical or e-book, if I come across a great quote, an interesting story, an anecdote or a lesson, I highlight it. (Yeah, I know... it ruins the physical book etc etc, but that's the only way I can speed-revise my books!!)

So, this is what a typical highlight in a physical book would look like:

However much I may want to, it's difficult to share all these actual highlights and sentences in physical books with my friends and family.

Now, consider what I suddenly discovered when I was reading the book 'Autobiography of a Yogi' by Paramhansa Yogananda on the Kindle app on my iPad (the book was bought by me on available to be read via the Kindle app for iPad):

What better and more delightful example of consumer delight technology can there be, better than this one?

How Amazon does it, is so simple. Regularly, 'e-highlights' of all e-books get pushed by the tablets they are being read on, to the Amazon servers for compiling and indexing; and these highlights get pushed back into each book as often as possible, with combined scores and counts!

So, going forward, I need to read an e-book, and while I may be lazy, or may not be that attentive in reading the subtler parts (especially in a religious book), these 'Crowd Sourced' highlights, that pop up in non intrusive ways, could delight me and make me understand and appreciate the book even better!! These highlights could even be used as 'excerpts' for me to read before buying a book, since they would give me a great glimpse of what's in the book, by regular readers like you and me (rather than some fancy reviewer)!

This is one example of how technology can change our leisure, learning and living standards for the better!

Alok blogs at