Magazine article Drug Topics

No Big Splashes, Interesting New Wrinkles at Electronics Show

Magazine article Drug Topics

No Big Splashes, Interesting New Wrinkles at Electronics Show

Article excerpt

Although the consumer electronics industry is still looking for its next, big tidal wave of products, there were a few interesting ripples made at the Consumer Electronics Show held last month in Las Vegas. For drugstores, especially, this is the year when "little products" may make a very big difference in the bottom line.

Probably the most interesting of the lot were a slew of digital books debuted by Mt. Holly, N.J.-based Franklin Electronics Publishers. Already well known for its calculator-style Baseball Encyclopedia--which gave sports fanatics the end-all-arguments clincher at their fingertips--Franklin has taken things a step further by making the data banks for the technology interchangeable. Just pop out one tiny digital book from the back of a unit, pop in another one--and you're ready to go.

Incredibly, each of the pop-out books can store 45 megabytes of information, or approximately the text of 10 Bibles. The company plans to publish more than 50 digital books in 1993, and already has an industry specific title, the Handbook of Adverse Drug Reactions. Other titles already available include Dictionary Plus, Word Games, and Video Companion. Each unit features slots for two books and has the ability to cross-reference data of both books.

Suggested list price for the unit system--which includes two digital books--is $199, and future titles in travel, health, entertainment, cooking, and gardening will range from $29 to $129. Of course, as we all know, prices like these have a way of dropping dramatically once the product is on the market for a while. So by mid-year or Christmas, these could become a real impulse buy.

Another interesting twist on existing technology came from nine audio manufacturers, who gave showgoers a peek at radios that are able to scan the airwaves for preferred music formats. …

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