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TheStreet Open House

The Digital Skeptic: 3 Whole New Kinds of eBook

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- You will never, ever guess what is the leading, bleeding edge of the mess that is the digital information economy right now. Not ebooks. Not even Facebooks (FB).

But good, old-fashioned, ink-slathered-on-paper, bound books.

"I'm all about real," says Lars Perkins, founder and CEO of Relive, the Los Angeles-based geo-tagging photo integration start-up. Perkins quite literally lives on the outer banks of applied technology. He's on the NASA Advisory Council, was a product manager at Google (GOOG) -- a gig he got when he sold an earlier company he built called Picasa to the firm in 2005. He's been a managing director at Idealab, the Pasadena, Calif.-based technology incubator.

His biography even claims he built an Altair 8800 minicomputer -- the world's first personal computer -- as a high school project back in 1976.

Books 2.0
And this most interesting tech man in the world is now betting that printed volumes are a critical business component to his latest venture, Relive. What this online software tool does is securely collect images from smartphones, cameras, PCs, tablets or anything that can take a picture, then organize them around, say, a wedding and put all those images in virtual space any Web user can access easily.  

"I could not find a way to bring all my images together from an event in one place," Perkins told me as he demoed the product here in New York. "So I made one that could."

And Perkins is going old-school on getting Relive to live as a business.

"We are going to offer on-demand printed versions of the albums we organize," he said.

Perkins is not the lone reader in the nuevo-book revolution.

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