In 1992 Sony Corporation introduced the Data Discman, an electronic book device marketed in the United States to college students and international travelers. The Data Discman may be called the first eBook reader that was commercially produced, but it was introduced long before the eBook concept had a wide following, and it had little success outside of Japan.
The Data Discman's purpose was quick access to electronic reference information on a pre-recorded disc. Searches for information on disc were entered using a QWERTY-style keyboard, and utilized the "Yes" and "No" keys. A typical Data Discman model had a low resolution small grayscale LCD, a CD drive unit, and a low-power computer. Early versions of the device were incapable of playing audio CDs. Software was prerecorded, and featured encyclopedias, foreign language dictionaries, novels, etc. All Data Discmans had audio and video output capabilities.