Startup goes head on against Kindle, Sony

Posted by Mike Magee in Paris, France

 The CEO of start up company txtr said his firm would release an e-reader before Christmas aimed at what he said is a burgeoning market ripe for exploitation.

Christopher Maire, CEO of txtr, told an audience of investors here at the Etre conference in Paris: "We're not competing in an entrenched market. We think that Sony has recognized there are some opportunities in this market."

He showed a prototype of the light slim reader and said txtr intended to produce future devices that would support color e-ink.

He said: "Reading is a 100 million market and we think is a big opportunity for providing an "Easy tech" solution. The E-reading design will be launched by Christmas, and is custom designed to include energy saving. It will have touch technology, a simplified form factor, and connectivity will include UMTS, GPRS, wi-fi, Bluetooth, USB." It will also have open system architecture.

e-reader due before Christmas


This, he said, is a real advantage. Txtr is not per se a hardware company. It considers itself a software stack company. It will share folders in the cloud. Txtr will license its middleware stack to other manufacturers and will launch with support for iPhone, and then Nokia phones.

He said: "Readers are the beginning of an evolution. The types of screens are limited by the manufacturing technology. There are some companies working on making color e-ink. We are on top of these evolutions and there's a significant market in the verticals."

While it seems that txtr is taking on some giants, Maire has one big advantage. His previous company, along with developers, was bought by Nokia a few years ago.