The US Navy has released a new secure, custom e-reader, dubbed the Navy eReader Device (NeRD), which will be distributed among each active submarine fleet.
Developed by Findaway World and the navy general library programme (NGLP), the new device is an essential part of the navy's morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programme.
NGLP programme assistant Nilya Carrato said: "Since we have the digital product available while sailors are on shore, we wanted to find a way to get digital accessibility while sailors are on ships.
"They can keep 300 books ... in their pockets now."
The initial plans are to distribute five NeRD devices to each of the submarines in the active fleet, before offering them to all navy vessels. The NeRD comes preloaded with a library of 300 titles from the NGLP's 108,000 titles, ranging from classics to best-sellers.
Navy Installations Command (CNIC) NGLP manager Nellie Moffitt was quoted by the BBC as saying that currently only submarines will receive the devices.
"[There will be] five per submarine, with a total of 355 for the submarine force," Moffitt said.
"Eventually, we will send NeRDs to all vessels in the active fleet. It will take time as each collection will be tailored for specific audiences."
In a bid to boost security, the device does not feature ports, Wi-Fi or roaming data capabilities, which could otherwise be exploited by the rivals.
The integration of NeRD into NGLP allows CNIC to address physical storage restrictions by consolidating a library that holds vessel restrictions in a user friendly, mobile format.
Image: The NeRD includes a web-based digital library. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.