August 12, 2009
Recently Engadget covered the news of Polymer Vision's filing for bankruptcy.
That is a testament to the effort and resources it takes to bring to market a new display technology, manufacturing processes, device and content and distribution ecosystem. Arguably they should have stayed more tightly focused on the display technology and maybe it's manufacture, and less so on the device and the rest, working with partners for that.
The READIUS device and it's display were a great evolution, and after having held and used one it changed my mind, and I wanted to have one (although with full telephone functionality).
I can only now hope that some other company can pick up the bits or bring a similar technology to production, so that we can have those small devices with large displays.
July 3, 2009
July 2, 2009
March 19, 2009
- Color! 260,000 colors to be exact
- lightweight and thin
- 8-inch screen with a resolution of
- High-speed wireless LAN -
- USB mini-B connector supporting USB2.0 (480Mbps)
- Power-efficient, with up to 40 hours (bi-stable display does not require power for display of a screen image)
- SD Card slot. With a 4GB SD card, the color e-paper terminal can store the equivalent of 5,000 conventional paper-based books when each book is 300 pages long at 600KB per book
- Touchscreen and stylus input (we assume that the stylus works like a finger on a resistive touch screen until we hear more)
- For now the reading software and formats supported seem to be very specific to Japan
March 12, 2009
- Looks to have a nice leather (looking) case!
- Screen is a reasonably large % of the size of the device, one of my personal metrics for a reader
- I've just realized it's almost identical to the Papyrus eBook reader, down to the button layout and user interface navigation mechanisms and suspect the Papyrus is an OEM of this device.
- They plan to add WiFi capability as standard by including a WiFi SD card from the factory (like the EyeFi SD WiFi card popularized for digital cameras I assume) for the same price.
- Available in Europe only, for 299 Euros.
- They blast past Sony's leading battery life claims with "7,000 page turns"
- Not sure why, but it states the price in US Dollars - at $280
- Wireless connectivity through one ore more platforms or protocols. (3G and/or WIFI)
- Touchscreen navigation
- Buy your books anywhere, anytime.
- Wireless RSS support
- The ePub DRM standard will also be implemented within the next few months.
March 11, 2009
- We'll see larger sizes, maybe some growth in resolution to somewhere between 200dpi and 300dpi (Seiko-Epson have demonstrated devices from the lab at 400dpi).
- We'll see flexibility or plastic displays used to give robustness to larger sized displays
- We may see some attempts at foldable devices along the lines of the READIUS, but larger, but the manufacturability of those technologies may delay their commercial availability
- Lastly, we'll need to see some evolution of formats for newspapers and magazines to make them readable and navegable on these smaller displays.
March 10, 2009
March 9, 2009
"What Hearst and its partners plan to do is sell the e-readers to publishers and to take a cut of the revenue derived from selling magazines and newspapers on these devices. The company will, however, leave it to the publishers to develop their own branding and payment models."
"The device boasts a 6-inch e-ink touchscreen with 16 shades of gray, 512MB storage, WiFi, support for various formats (including EPUB / PDF / HTML / TXT / CHM / MOBI / JPG / BMP / PNG / GIF / TIFF / MP3), and text to speech "
March 8, 2009
March 3, 2009
“Whispersync,” a new synchronization technology Amazon is introducing with the Kindle 2. Whispersync automatically syncs with the original Kindle and Kindle 2, along with future as-yet unannounced devices"
"Whispersync bookmarking -- if you start reading a book on one Kindle, you can pick up again on any other Kindle automatically"
February 26, 2009
"The flexible touchscreen display supports user input either by stylus pen or by touch. "
February 19, 2009
"In support of the new Adobe Reader Mobile SDK, a number of companies announced plans to ship devices or applications in 2009 that integrate the new Adobe technology, including Bookeen, iRex Technologies, Lexcycle, Plastic Logic, Polymer Vision Ltd., and Spring Design. The Adobe Reader Mobile engine is already integrated into the groundbreaking Reader Digital Book™ by Sony."SONY are amount the vendors announcing support for it (the Sony Reader was one of the first eBook reader devices to support PDF with software from Adobe, not other sources):
“With support for reflowable PDF and the new EPUB format, we are able to deliver richer reading experiences to digital book lovers,” said Steve Haber, president, Digital Reading Business Division, Sony Electronics. “The Reader ships with support for Adobe Reader Mobile SDK today and allows consumers to acquire eBooks from a variety of sources, including public libraries. Our goal is to foster an open content environment that enables our customers to maximize the use and enjoyment of their Readers.”iRex and Adobe have also made a subsequent announcement.There is an Adobe Press Release and iRex also publish on their i-to-i blog :
We may see it ship in READIUS, whenever that ships!! Via Lexcycle (maker of Stanza reader software) you may also see it creep into iPhone versions of their reading application?
"iRex has reached an agreement with Adobe to license new PDF technology and EPUB file format plus Adobe’s content protection technology for the iRex Digital Reader 1000 series.
Enabling the iRex DR1000 to offer reflowable PDF technology, allowing text to adopt automatically to the screen size, thereby preserving layout integrity and enhancing the reading experience. In addition it will also support the EPUB file format, an XML based eBook standard which already has broad support from the publishing industry and is expected to accelerate the availability of eBook content.
Both the PDF and EPUB support will become available through a software release scheduled in quarter 2 2009, more details will follow later."
February 13, 2009
February 12, 2009
Foxits eSlick comes with free software: Foxit Reader Pro Pack and Foxit PDF Creator. to aid getting PDF documentant onto your device.
February 11, 2009
February 10, 2009
February 9, 2009
- it is much thinner than the original Kindle, and in another photo it's shown to be thinner than your average pencil...which is pretty thin.
- the back of the device is apparently made of metal, a little like older iPods and iPhones, although I don't see that as much of a "features", except as it might translate into rigidity.
- there are stereo speakers at the bottom of it, on the back side as shown in this photo.
- it may move to a newer generation of the eInk film that is slightly whiter in white state, and slightly faster changing state.
- it will move to the new eInk "broadsheet" display controller ASIC that updates the screen faster, introduces new update modes depending on the type of content, allows for partial screen updates - and when all combines can enable "cartoon" type animations in parts of the screen for appropriate content.
- They will have done a lot of refinements of the electronics and firmware to get to a battery performance approaching that of the Sony Reader, and if well done, so that it can really go into sleep mode while reading, then the battery life maybe also be defined in number of page turns, not hours.
- I'm tempted to speculate that it might move to a faster 3G data connection over its existing 2.5G EVDO network, but I actually think that might be a bad idea! The existing solution seems fast enough from what I hear, and I dread to think what 3G might do to it's battery life if not implemented very well. The heat that 3G chipsets can generate make me wornder if that's why it's got a metal back all of a sudden.
February 8, 2009
The biggest at 1m x 3.2m is a significant size, even if 4mm pixels, and was made by arranging 48 x 96-pixel electronic papers in five vertical rows and eight horizontal rows (40 tiles in total) and consumed 24Watts (0.6Watt per tile).
It remains to be seen whether this technology will be applied beyond "public information" display to advertising signage. There is no mentioned of the visibility of these reflective (it is assumed) displays at night, and that would depend off-course on the ambient street ligthing or any front-light added to illuminate the sign.
January 28, 2009
Its anticipated mainly because it will have a "plastic electronics" display with no glass, providing robustness and lightness but not (yet) flexibility.
PlasticLogic and PolymerVision, with its READIUS product, are now in a slow race to market.
The READIUS's commercial availability has also been postponed multiple times in the past and it remains to be seen who will make it to market and be able to say they are the "first plastic display shipping". When it does ship READIUS will provide lightness and robustness and also flexibility with the display wrapping around the device - making it a small hand-held device with a large(r) display.
All this proves that bringing a new electronics and display technology to market is no simple task, and that the companies trying to do so either repeatedly underestimate the complexity of doing to, or overstretch themselves when announcing availability dates.
See the Engadget Post, or watch the video of the interview from CES by following the link to InfoWorld Videos.
January 27, 2009
January 26, 2009
At the Wall Street Journal on-line, personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg discusses a couple of recent additions to those offerings.
The first is "Shortcovers" from Indigo, a Canadian book selling company. It will be available soon (maybe by the time you read this) on the AppStore and will give you the first chapter free and then allow you to buy buy chapter by chapter, or specific chapters of books (for around $0.99 per chapter) or to buy the whole book in eBook format, or to buy the book in paper format. Sounds like the software has some interesting features which I'll check out and cover in a future post.
The second is call "Iceberg" now on AppStore. It has few titles at the start but they will be working hard to increase the number of titles available on it.
If you prefer to "read" about the subject (and not watch a video) then you can read Mossberg's column article on the subject.
It seems like the battle of "Convenience" vs. "Better reading experience" is served. Fight!
January 14, 2009
January 13, 2009
Now they have announced publicly progress made in their "SAIL" process (Self-Aligned Imprint Lithography), which is a roll-to-roll manufacturing process for electronics, which if married with a flexible display technology like e-Ink film, can produce flexible displays.
They work in collaboration with a number of partners, including the Flexible Display Center (FDC) at Arizona State University
One of the key aspects to get across about the SAIL process is that the multiple semiconductor and other layers and all laid down on the flexible substrate at the start, before the layers are etched away. This avoid all problems due to alignment that occur in processes where the layers are laid down, etched, then another layer laid down, then etched etc.
January 12, 2009
Sony are pushing forward with OLED in the market, as evidenced by their OLED TV. Here they show design concepts for products using OLED displays on flexible backplanes (and front-planes for that matter) and amoung them is an eReader.
Now, thanks to the CES trade-show this week we can see another implementation of it, on a GPS device, reported by Engadget.
With one of its advantages being great visibility in bright lighting conditions, using it in a GPS makes a lot of sense, not just to improve the visibility of the display over existing GPS offerings but to help them extend the battery life of the GPS, one of there limitations at the moment.
January 9, 2009
That made me want to find readers from the other parts of the world, where no one has visited this blog yet.
And I thought of you, my existing readers, and that maybe you could help!
If you know someone in one of the countries list below who might be interested in reading this blog, then please forward the link
to them and if they drop in for a look I'll see their country added!
Countries from which I haven't had a visit yet include:
- Anywhere in the Balkans
- Anywhere in Africa outside of South Africa!
- Anywhere in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan
- Myanmar (Burma)
- North Korea
- Papua New Guinea
If you visit from one of those countries, feel free to add a comment and I'l either post it, or add your message or name (as you wish) against your country.
Thanks for your help in this somewhat whimsical quest...