speekr wrote:To expand on that line of thought, the nook uses the android software. Ive seen a few phone controlled gadgets. Is it possible to use an ereader instead? Maybe not bluetooth wise but with the data cable?
Possibly. The two criteria for success in a reasonable amount of effort would generally be:
- Is there a community of people on the net who know how to load custom software onto the device, especially kernel-mode software? Or to use the common term, is there a known method to "root" it? Depending on what you want to do, "app" level customization may be sufficient, but particularly where I/O is concerned being able to do privileged (root) things or change the kernel may be needed. Somewhat included is, "are the kernel sources available?" - which unfortunately is not the case for some of the no-name import android tablets (and without which the manufacturer has no license for the operating system kernel and is thus shipping pirated software). I think the answer for the nook line is that it is known how to root them, and sources are available, but check for the specific model/revision before buying.
- Is there a sufficient I/O channel into the device to accomplish what the project needs? As you noted, e-readers may not have bluetooth. The nook color sort of has a vestigial bluetooth in its chipset (not mentioned anywhere in the official specs) that doesn't work very well. USB can be an option, but the external device may have to be the USB host - ie, IOIO board, adk, usb host shield, etc. There are some android and other portable devices which can be USB hosts, in which case a simpler external USB device can be used. And there's wifi, but that has complexity and battery life implications. For minimal amounts of data, there's the headphone jack, though e-readers may not have a microphone channel in theirs making it output only.