Was talking with a fellow co-worker about the Sony “Reader Digital Book” (Can a guy, please get some branding?!?!) and we were discussing the Kindle and how well these devices work under direct sunlight and/or in the dark. I looked at the Sony version probably five years ago and really like the idea for books that I don’t necessarily want to own in the physical sense. Not sure if that makes them less valuable in some way.
During our conversation I noticed that the person I was talking to was wearing glasses and I asked him if they had a setting on the device that allowed you to enter your prescription and the book would auto adjust. He indicated that he could adjust the size of the text and that was about it. I would expect to see this type of customization on the Kindle (or the Sony) in the near future. It would also be a great way to check your eyes. In other words, if you set-up the device and it was still blurry you would have some indication that your prescription had changed. (I can see the ad option now. Click here to set up an appointment with a local eye doctor.) Ads in books! Wait. Never mind.
Why would a company create a feature like that instead of just allowing the user to make the text larger or smaller? I would argue that it makes users feel as if the device knows them and is really theirs, especially when I can save my settings. (I can easily see this as an iPhone app and based on how the Japanese use mobile devices, I would expect it soon.
Update: Just found this post that talks about Kindle 2 users complaining of eye strain.