Famous authors won't lose the ability to autograph their books in the digital age if Barnes & Noble has anything to say about it. With a firmware upgrade, the Nook Color will reportedly allow authors to sign their books with a stylus. The first "e-book signing" is scheduled for next week.
Authors will need to put their Sharpies down, and instead use a stylus to sign a book directly on the Nook Color's touchscreen, and the e-reader will store the signature on that digital copy of the book. Presumably, the signature would be visible to anyone who reads it, even friends who borrow the book on the Nook platform, essentially converting bragging rights to digital form.
Yesterday the Nook Color received a major software upgrade—adding apps, an email client, and Adobe Flash compatibility—but the new autograph feature appears to be separate from that. A company called Autography has patented software for writing autographs on e-books, but it's not known whether the Nook feature uses that technique or something different.