December 5, 2001, 12:00 AM

Japanese online booksellers replicate book browsing online

Two major Japanese online booksellers are deploying RealRead Inc. technology to allow web shoppers to browse books just as they do in a store. They will test seven books online between now and Christmas.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Two major Japanese online booksellers are deploying RealRead Inc. technology to allow web shoppers to browse books just as they do in a store. Amazon recently deployed similar technology.

Nippon Shippan Hanbai Inc., a book wholesaler with annual sales of $7 billion, and Rakutenbooks Inc., a top online book retailer in Japan, will test seven titles at their sites through Christmas to gauge consumer reaction. The technology allows books to appear at web sites like books in which consumers sample the books by flipping through the pages rather than scrolling through screens.

With the RealRead technology, publishers can display as much or as little of the books as they desire. Consumers cannot copy the contents, although publishers can e-mail it to readers. The technology does not require plug-ins or special software for consumers.

 

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