The Next Chapter In Electronic Books

The electronic book is one of those technological concepts from the 1990s that seems somewhat of a leftover. It's never really taken off the way it potentially could: It makes so much sense.

Books--especially the great beefy ones worth reading--are bulky. Their size makes them inconvenient. And with all this electronic equipment we lug around--laptops, personal digital assistants and the like--there's no reason they couldn't be used to carry the text of books.

Last month, Sony and Royal Philips Electronics teamed with privately held E Ink to announce the Librié, which is set to go on sale in Japan this month. It looks a bit like a PDA but its display uses E Ink's electronic ink technology that it says offers a "paper-like" reading experience comparable to newsprint.

Getting the display's appearance just right has been a key problem in the evolution of the e-book concept. Paper is ideal for most eyes, electronic displays simply aren't. Paper requires no technical knowledge; electronic devices invariably include instruction manuals--printed on paper.

E Ink's electronic paper display is reflective and can be read in the sunlight and in conditions of dim light. It presents a resolution of 170 pixels per inch, similar to newspaper. The gadget uses four AAA batteries but only uses power when a page is turned and the image presented on the display changes. The companies say a user can turn 10,000 pages before those batteries have to be replaced.

View: Read more at Forbes

News source: Forbes

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