Free Blio e-reading software out in February

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Of the numerous e-reading devices and platforms unveiled at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, the Blio e-reading platform is generating positive feedback for its true-to-print display and host of features. Due out in February, the software will be available for free download to most internet-enabled devices.

A software platform rather than a reader, Blio is intended to run on "most desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablets," as well as mobile devices such as smartphones, according to the Blio website. Blio displays books as PDFs in exactly the same layout and design as they appear in print. Because color is preserved, the software may be an especially good choice for illustrated books.

The platform is being released through a partnership with book distributor Baker & Taylor (B&T), which will reportly contribute 180,000 titles to the Blio bookstore (50,000 will be available when the product is launched).

Other features include 3-D page turns, a text-to-speech function, and ability to both store books in an online library and download them for offline reading.

The Blio was developed by voice-recognition inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil in partnership with the National Federation for the Blind.

Watch a Blio demonstration and interview with Kurweil on CNET TV: