Publisher will build hotspots at bookstores in innovative approach: Sure, Barnes & Noble and Borders Books have had hotspots for some time now, with Borders claiming the older network. (Barnes & Noble signed its Cometa deal weeks before it shut down; now SBC operates B&N hotspots.)
But HarperCollins's plan will bring Wi-Fi with a HarperCollins splash page to what sounds at least like a wider variety of booksellers and at no cost. It's an interesting move because many bookstores aren't set up to handle people with laptops, and there's always been some concern that access to perfect information in the form of book price comparisons at Amazon.com (or even my own service, isbn.nu) would erode on-the-spot impulse buying.
The company said in a press release that they will launch a four-month pilot program, to be announced at this weekend Book Expo America. The publisher is providing free Wi-Fi access at the show.