Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New eBook readers that use paper as their display

For those of you not familiar with eInk, it is a company spun out of MIT research. They have technology for creating displays made literally of balls of ink to form printed pages that change on the fly.

Read about it here:

The good news for readers waiting for a quality eBook device is as follows:

1) The display looks like a printed page from a book. It is not backlit, which can cause eye strain, and is as easy to read under direct sunlight as it is by the bed. The MIT ink/paper system has a high enough contrast and resolution to mimic a printed page.

2) Battery power is only needed to change the display, not to maintain a static image such as text. Therefore as you read a page no power is used to refresh the image (as would be the case with LCDs). Batteries are only used when "turning" the page.

3) The display is thin and light-weight, making the new eInk-based readers the size of a paperback.

Sony's new reader based on E-Ink display technology is going to be out this Spring. Borders is expected to sell them as well as coupons for downloading books. I have some concerns about Sony and DRM, but we will soon know if it is a good system or not. I really would love to keep my entire library handy. I would love to have several books for long plane trips or hotel stays.

Sony also added the ability to show any PDF, and via a PC tool you can sync up blog and web page content for later reading. It can also play MP3s, but of course then you are draining your batteries faster.

Read about Sony's Reader here:


Doc Nagel said...

That's splendid, but I'm still a little pissed off about the whole flying car thing.

You Gotta Be Kidding You said...

... and don't forget the promise of traveling in tubes.