Copia is a new social reading platform and I had it explained to me by Anthony Antolino, their senior vice president. At the outset I must say that I was skeptical, after all another social platform? But I ended up being very impressed.
Copia is first and foremost a software experience that is designed to be interoperable and platform independent. It will run on your PC or Mac and on your smartphone or tablet. To the extent possible the UI will be the same across all platforms. Copia is a mixture of three things - content, community and a bookstore.
Copia will be selling ebooks, in Epub with or without Adobe DRM, and PDF. The platform will also work with movies, music or any digital content. The community portion of the platform will also interact directly with Twitter and Facebook. This isn't the easiest thing to explain if a few words, but here is the website and it will be going into beta soon.
Along with the social website, which will not require any book purchases to use, Copia will be releasing a series of e-ink readers which will have WiFi and 3G and will interact directly with the site. The user will be able to purchase books directly from the site with the readers and the readers will interact with the site in a number of ways.
For example, using the site you can organize your collection of ebooks any way you want (whether the books were purchased from Copia or not) and then the reader will connect with the site and organize its books exactly the same way. Or you can do a note on the reader and then automatically have the site syndicate the note to members of your group, or just store the note for your own use. The ereader now becomes a collaborative real-time tool. A color TFT ereader will be available by Christmas.
Although not open to the public yet, Copia gave me a demo of the site’s capabilities and GUI. I have to say that I was absolutely blown away. It is one of the most clever GUI designs I have seen in years, and maybe one of the most clever designs I have ever seen, period.
Keep your eyes out for this guy. It’s going to be a big play in the future.