Beyond the Kindle: Color, Video E-Paper Devices Are Just Around the Corner

The tablet race is getting hotter by the day. NEC is readying a seven- or eight-inch-screen Android tablet for the Japanese market, according to Slashgear, and expects them to eventually sell in the millions—though the initial production run is rumored to begin at around 150,000. (Picture courtesy of Slashgear, via Nikkei.)

NEC Android TabletBut tablets—running Android or not—may quickly be usurped by color, video-playing e-paper devices that consume vastly less power and which can get by with thinner enclosures. Sure, the Kindle can't do much right now, but its successors will.

Proof? E-paper maker Liquavista is showing off a truly amazing video-playing, touch-enabled, and color digital paper that seems poised to blow the lid off of e-book hardware constraints as we know them. Other companies have shown progress too, but nothing is as slick as this.

Other research groups are close, too. According to the May issue of Nature Photonics, e-paper researchers at the University of Cincinnati have figured out how to build e-paper pixels with high contrast and pigment ratios, and that can refresh quickly enough to display video. According to UC, it will "achieve the brilliance of printed media." Read how it works here.

[Via Engadget]

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  • Richard Geller

    I swear don't some mornings just feel like Christmas! The speed with with which eReader technology is developing is nothing short of amazing. As a long-term writer of stories, poems and songs, I've had an equally long-term love affair with enabling technology.

    As a young and fairly broke writer at the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, I scrimped and saved my beer money to buy an IBM Selectric, because of it's auto self-correcting feature and the ability to mix regular and italic fonts. It wasn't that many years before I got my hands on a word processor, and then the web comes along—offering indie artists everywhere universal access to global markets! Print on demand creates books virtually indistinguishable in quality from web-press. And now the prospect of eReaders as a viable, green alternative to print and the ability to digitally distribute my work virtually anywhere at a fraction of the cost to produce paper copies and mail them. Could it get any better? (Well, maybe not so great if you're interested in preserving the status quo, actually.) In our first few months of operation, our site has had visitors from 61 countries. Ultimately, I hope to sell many more eBooks than paper copies. It's better for the planet, far less expensive for my readers, and much much simpler for me and the other artists who support my efforts. What an amazing time this is for all artists to learn how build a platform for their own work.

    Richard Geller