E ink playing with color and touch displays, due in late 2010

The most wanted features for many in Amazon's Kindle and other eBook readers are about to become a reality. These features would be a color screen, and a touch E Ink screen. Electrophorescent (EPD) displays currently are used in eBook readers such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony reader, however they have not offered touch or color abilities. For you, users of mainstream eBook readers, don't get too excited quite yet as the eBook reader that will be touting the new features will be manufactured by Hanvon at first. 

Image Source: digitimes.com

E Ink chairman Scott Lou (above) is showing off the Hanvon color eBook reader due in Q4. The color features are to be coupled with E Ink's Pearl technology to offer the great color and a fast response time. The touch capabilities will come in two flavors, capacitive solution and electromagnetic digitizer. The capacitive solution would let people use the touch screen as many do today with other devices. The other flavor, electromagnetic digitizer, would allow for pen input. The pen input could make eBooks a necessity in the schools as students could read, take notes with ease, and highlight any passages they wished.

With more of the population wanting these types of devices and displays, a color E Ink screen would allow the eBook market to take off even more, as there are many who were waiting for this specific feature. In schools, teachers have had mixed feelings on the Kindle and other readers, but with the new touch displays they could find a permanent place in the classroom. E Ink foresees 10% of the global market using color e-readers in 2011.

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24 Comments

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omg! This is really gonna be awesome!! color e-ink with touch... can't wait to get one e-reader like that. I read Amazon is making more than just Kindle, looking forward to see everything mix together into a great product.

AWESOME this is great news!! I've really been hanging out for some e-ink news, I've been wanting a kindle (or the like), but wanted to see some new features first, looks like I won't be dissapointed!

Wombatt said,
Sony do a touch screen version of their e-reader here in the uk....

We have sony touch screen e-readers here in the USA right now I can buy one at staples

I would get one if these with e ink + digitiser + pen. As long as notes can be copied to a pc then it would be brilliant!

hmm, do these things work with a backlight? (never used one) would it be possible to have a regular tablet with one of these screens and a switch for the backlight?

mystraven said,
hmm, do these things work with a backlight? (never used one) would it be possible to have a regular tablet with one of these screens and a switch for the backlight?

Nope, no backlight compatibility yet sony released one with a wedge sort of light in the sides, but it looked crap and didnt take off

I live for the day that I can write and not have to deal with storing and organizing physical paper.

And I also wanna read X-Men comics on an E Ink color screen.

Melfster said,
I think I'll wait for Mirasol to many issue with e-ink

I would agree that Mirasol is better alternative comparing to e-ink, but the problem is that e-ink is already used very widely in market, while there is not even one device with Mirasol. E-ink looks like improving quite fast and brining new features. Most companies won't change from e-ink to some new technology. I think that no matter how good Mirasol will be (6 times lower power usage, instant refresh, high resolution, colors) everything still gonna stick to e-ink.

I don't understand how u think e-ink is the end all be all for e-readers. It's my understanding that there will be Mirasol based products by next year. I admit price may be an issue, and I think some companies are going to want to differentiate themselves from the competition. I have already seen full motion color video on a Mirasol screen. I have not yet seen full motion color e-ink screen.

david13lt said,

I would agree that Mirasol is better alternative comparing to e-ink, but the problem is that e-ink is already used very widely in market, while there is not even one device with Mirasol. E-ink looks like improving quite fast and brining new features. Most companies won't change from e-ink to some new technology. I think that no matter how good Mirasol will be (6 times lower power usage, instant refresh, high resolution, colors) everything still gonna stick to e-ink.

Melfster said,
I don't understand how u think e-ink is the end all be all for e-readers. It's my understanding that there will be Mirasol based products by next year. I admit price may be an issue, and I think some companies are going to want to differentiate themselves from the competition. I have already seen full motion color video on a Mirasol screen. I have not yet seen full motion color e-ink screen.


I have seen a lit of Mirasol based products, there are 8 or 9 of them or at least was. None of them was e-reader, mostly nothing interesting. There only one smartphone with Mirasol display, but judging that very little details are given this product might never show up. Mirasol won't be a huge thing until some bigger company will decide to use them. E-ink (Cambridge-based) demonstrated animation with some impressive speeds 2 years ago. So, I am afraid E-ink is going to be major thing.

Shadowzz said,

using paper is good for trees
Uhh...


Anyway someone needs to do some research on how using eBooks is better for the environment than using actual paper. There're a lot of factors here such as electricity generation, battery usage, pollution during device production, pollution caused by device dumping, etc. When you see devices like these it may seem great for the environment, but there's so many other factors that can be linked to this which may just show you that eInk is worse. I don't know. I am just speculating. I would like to see some research on this.

Jebadiah said,

Anyway someone needs to do some research on how using eBooks is better for the environment than using actual paper. There're a lot of factors here such as electricity generation, battery usage, pollution during device production, pollution caused by device dumping, etc. When you see devices like these it may seem great for the environment, but there's so many other factors that can be linked to this which may just show you that eInk is worse. I don't know. I am just speculating. I would like to see some research on this.

Good point, books can last hundreds of years and the trees used for paper are managed as crops basically and replanted. How long does an electronic gadget last until a shiny new model comes out and the old one is tossed in a landfill?

While ebook readers are very useful for taking on trips and things, if I'm at home and want to read something I'll take a real book over an electronic screen any day.