What’s the Definition of Wikipedia in Your Pocket?


I have to hand it to the folks at OpenMoko. The small company in Taipei says it creates “products that reflect the evolving perspective of our values and the experiences we share together.” Their latest reflection is a handheld device with one and only purpose — put the entire content of Wikipedia in your hand. The $99 WikiReader offers instant on capability and runs for months on a pair of AAA batteries. Wikipedia entries appear on the monochome touchscreen for your reading pleasure, but don’t expect to update any articles with your own content — there’s no interface to enter text, nor is there connectivity for any updates. Since the Wikipedia is constantly changing with new information, you can get updates via quarterly microSD cards, but that will cost you $29 annually. If you’re comfy with a 4+GB download, you can save the annual fee and pull the updates direct from the WikiReader site.

For cheating on Jeopardy! or the latest history test at school, the WikiReader might come in handy. But for now, I’ll stick with my phone and the real, live Wikipedia. Check Amazon for availability if you want the world’s biggest encyclopedia in your pocket.



The fore-runner to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Faced with the challenges of staying in touch with the happenings on the far-away mother planet, colonists will buy this device in large numbers. Now only for Terra-forming technology and cheap inter-stellar travel…

James Kendrick

I’m still scratching my head over this device. A gadget to bring the Wikipedia to the group of consumers who likely don’t know what it is. What’s up with that?

Alex Whiteside

I imagine that for a lot of people Wikipedia’s mess of “citation needed” tags and to-do banners is offputting. Presenting it more like an actual encyclopedia rather than a work-in-progress is a laudable goal, although a single-purpose device is never an easy sell and it overstates the authority of the work.

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