Friday, January 8, 2010

Color e-Readers to Arrive Soon?

The e-Reader market is growing fast and e-Readers are evolving rapidly. We all have been hearing about new e-Readers coming into the market, contributing to a fiercely competitive environment. Especially before the holiday season, e-Reader related news and advertisements multiplied.

These days, the source of the most of the news is where the heart of the electronics market is currently beating: 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And of course, among a total of 2,700 exhibitors, e-Readers occupy a large area with a multitude of vendors and their devices.

As e-Readers evolve, one of the areas where companies seem to compete is the color display. And I heard two very interesting news on this subject.


The first one is about Liquavista who produce e-Paper readers.

The video above shows LiquavistaColor, Liquavista's color e-Reader. As you can see, this is a demo device. It's probably attached to a unit simulating the user interactions. So if the device response time is just like as it's shown in this demo then I'm extremely impressed by it.

Their e-Readers are e-Paper readers but not e-Ink. There seems to be a misconception that I keep hearing: e-Ink is a company. They produce the popular display that is called EPD (Electrophoretic Display). EPD is used by the most popular e-Readers such as Amazon's Kindle and Sony's PRS series. Liquavista uses a technology called EWD (Electrowetting Display), therefore their displays are e-Paper but not EPD as we are used to see in popular e-Readers. EWD has some advantages over EPD. For instance, higher contrast and better refresh rates make this technology even capable of displaying video in an acceptable fashion. Apparently, LiquavistaColor is based on their monochrome product called LiquavistaBright and it offers color viewing with quite high reflectance.

Kindle 3

The second news that I consider interesting is about Kindle 3. Actually it's about Qualcomm's new display technology called Mirasol.

When pressed about who its partner might be in 2010, a company spokesman asked me, "You know that device that everyone reads books on? Well, it's going to be a game changer on a device we all know."

If the two rumorish news articles that I read are true (this one and this one), that's the technology that Kindle is going to use in the future. How soon? Your guess is as good as mine. Do you think that we are going to meet the new Kindle just before the next holiday season?

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