mcdonaldsIf you go to McDonald’s sometime in the future, might you order a burger, fries, and an e-book? It’s a possibility. The Verge and Phandroid report that McDonald’s in the UK is experimenting with installing Samsung tablets at restaurant tables for patron use. The exact details of the software they’ll include isn’t currently known, but it will be customized by SOTI, an enterprise software company which specializes in configuring mobile devices for business use.

The Verge notes that McDonald’s has dabbled in tech before, with a Happy Meal box in Sweden that converted into a VR headset, or installing Samsung wireless charging pads in some European restaurants. For my part, I recall McDonald’s was one of the first fast food restaurants to offer free WiFi to patrons chain-wide.

Of course, it’s not actually clear whether you would actually be able to read e-books on these tablets at all—they might just be meant for games, activities, movies, and the like. But if they support basic web browsing, you could at the least browse to the free e-book sites out there like Project Gutenberg or Baen’s Free Library, or log into Google to read from Google Play Books.

On the other hand, McDonald’s has supported child literacy before, giving away free children’s books with Happy Meals in the UK and Australia. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did incorporate something about reading there, too.

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TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.


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