Oct. 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM ET
You see Kindles and other e-readers all the time in ones and twos, but rarely do you see a hundred or a thousand deployed by a school or business. That could change with Whispercast, a new tool from Amazon that allows fleets of Kindles to be managed like PCs.
Imagine if you were running an English class in college with 20 people in it. Even if everyone had school-issued Kindles, they'd still have to configure their devices and find the books they need on their own. Whispercast lets you beam content and settings out to groups of Kindles, simplifying the process and keeping the devices locked down tight to boot.
It's not limited just to Kindle hardware, either. Amazon has made Kindle apps for practically every mobile and computing platform, so if providing Kindles for everyone isn't an option, users can bring their own device to the table and still be able to participate.
Kindles probably won't be replacing laptops at businesses any time soon, but wherever they have been deployed in large numbers, Whispercast will certainly be welcomed as a useful tool.
The system is free to use. More information, including specific capabilities and a few success stories, can be found at the Whispercast site.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.