The U.S. Navy is outfitting its submarine fleet with Kindle knockoffs that come with less features at a much higher price, according to Navy Times.
For about $US3000, deployed submariners will get an e-reader called a “NeRD” or, Navy e-Reading Device, which comes preloaded with 300 books.
Why not just outfit sailors with Kindles or iPads? Well, since there is plenty of secret information on subs, the Navy needed a device that couldn’t take photos or give away positions with electronic signals.
That means no internet connection, so sailors won’t be able to download any other books.
“This is our first run at it,” Nilya Carrato, an official with the Navy’s library program, told The Times. “So for NeRD 1.0, the titles won’t change because it can’t connect to the Internet and can’t do a digital push.”
The device, built by Ohio-based Findaway World, will come with titles selected from the Navy’s professional reading list, as well as public domain classics and contemporary non-fiction and fiction, such as “Ender’s Game,” and “The Stand,” among others.
At roughly $US3,000 each, they aren’t cheap. The cost includes the e-reader itself and the rights to all 300 books loaded on it.
With each sub set to receive five NeRDs each (385 total), the total cost is just north of $US1.15 million.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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