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Dr. E-Book: Fashioning A New Hope for Korean Education

I’ve met quite a few extraordinary people over the years, but just a few months ago I met an interesting and charismatic man whose story is as compelling as his vision is clear.  Dr. Dae-Hun Sung, also known in Korea as “Dr. E-Book,” is the leader of the Kyobo eReader project for Kyobo Book Centre.

In Korea, consumers can currently get varied content on any number of mobile devices, but Dr. Sung believes that e-readers will soon ascend as a category for one major reason: education. Educational performance, he tells me, is considered the single most important factor for career success in Korean society.  As a result, Korean parents have an unfettered devotion to their children’s educational performance and general literacy.  It is upon this devotion that Dr. Sung has built his vision for Kyobo’s e-readers.

As a child, Dr. Sung was a voracious bookworm. As a college student, he majored in publishing and gave passionate and futuristic lectures to his fellow students. His college professor gave him the foresight that the world’s most powerful publishing tool in the future would be digital. Today, he is an active and public advocate of digital reading in Korea, having spearheaded the growth and evolution of the e-book industry for almost 10 years. Dr. Sung sums up his vision for the Korean e-reader in two words: mom’s hope.

As parents to an 11-year-old son, Dr. Sung and his wife understand what Korean parents – especially moms – are looking for in a technology device.  Entertainment-focused gadgets distract from reading or studying regardless of whether the device has e-reading applications.  Dr. Sung set out to find a new kind of device: one that is not only designed and optimized for reading, but that makes the experience of reading compelling with color and interactive content. mirasol® displays were the missing piece: ours is the only screen technology on the market that can offer color as well as video content without compromising on the long battery life and outdoor viewability expected of an e-reader.

It was a thrilling moment for us both when, in late November of last year, we were able to fulfill Dr. Sung’s vision of “mom’s hope” and launch into the Korean market an education-focused e-reader; and for us, to introduce the first commercialized device featuring color mirasol displays: the Kyobo eReader.

Dr. Sung’s vision may be unique to his market, but the ability to redefine what an e-reader can be is global. With mirasol displays, users get the best of all worlds with color and interactive content, long battery life and outdoor visibility. We are enabling devices that are truly designed and optimized for an enhanced content consumption experience – that’s OUR vision.

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