Kno might be in a world of hurt come Thursday. That’s the day Apple is said to commence its assault on the textbook industry. Even if it’s mostly hype, any current textbook alternative companies (like Kno) should be on notice. Apple is gunning for their market.
This puts Kno in a precarious position, having been a scrappy start-up that once based its future on a massive, dual-screen digital textbook. Now, several years later, the company is focused on building a digital textbook ecosystem for the iPad and web. Kno just unveiled several new features lauded by the company as “major advances in smart textbook technology” which is a fancy way to describe flashcards and a smart goal page.
Kno Flashcards allows for quick and smart generation by automatically converting any key term within a Kno textbook to a flashcard. Kno says the feature will bring 40 million flashcards to more than 105,000 eTextbooks.
The other new feature, Kno Me, strives to make analytic junkies out of students (while helping their education). Kno Me utilizes an “interactive graphical dashboard” to display key learning metrics and study habits. The goal is to show the student instant feedback on their study habit and where there is an opportunity to improve. Kno Me also allows for the creation of personal and education goals.
“The future of education will be driven by analytics and self paced learning. We are taking the first step by making the student more self-aware of their study behavior to help them visualize how they engage with materials or benchmark themselves against previous students who took the class,” said Osman Rashid CEO and Co-Founder of Kno said in a released statement today. “This will eventually lead to improved outcomes for students and near real-time insights for professors on student engagement.”
Kno built an impressive digital textbook platform over the last two years. It’s seeming the leader in the space. But that space is set to get a new player come Thursday. Kno better be ready for Apple. Cupertino wants a piece of the pie (chart).