November 11, 2008

Plastic Logic announces….something

Original Post from September 8th 2008.

Engadget (here) covers a New York Times Technology section article (here) on the announcement by UK-based PlasticLogic that they plan to introduce in 2009 a plastic electronics E-Ink based reader.

Those of us watching the eReader space have been waiting eagerly for a PlasticLogic announcement after they got investment, then broke ground for a factory to build flexible displays. They then went quiet while they beavered away in their factory.

We've been waiting for a while for the READIUS reader (from Polymer Vision) to actually appear in the market after numerous announcements and postponements. Maybe PlasticLogic will beat them to the jump and be the first to actually SHIP a flexible E-Ink-based eReader?

Here they promise a monochrome E-Ink display, "a wireless link to download content, room enough to store "hundreds of pages of newspapers, books, and documents" while using "flexible, lightweight plastic" for the active matrix backplane of their display. There are allusions to it being "copier paper sized, presumably A/A4.

Claimed benefits as expected are "resulting in a reader about one-third the thickness of the Kindle at about the same weight". They don't say much about the advantage in robustness (to dropping for example), and I'm slightly surprised it will be the same weight as a glass unit - but a welcome advance all the same.

We'll need to stay tuned for the promised more information (maybe a name? maybe a date? maybe a price? maybe some specs?) at CES in January - if any reader plans to attend CES, be sure to "cover" this one for us and report back!

Who will be announced as newspapers ePublishers on it?
We'll see, but Hearst is quoted, and as an early investor in E-Ink and self-professed advocate of ePapers, I'd be surprised if they (or one of their MANY newspapers) is not among them, and we may well see the New York Times itself amongst them.

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