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E Ink Unveils Color E-Reader Display 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the convergent-techvolution dept.
Kensai7 writes with news that E Ink, the company who builds the displays used in Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook, and Sony's Reader, has launched a color version of their e-reader screens. It will first be used by a Chinese company called Hanvon Technology. Other companies will be watching and evaluating how well it works before integrating it into their own designs. Quoting: "Unlike an LCD screen, the colors are muted, as if one were looking at a faded color photograph. In addition, E Ink cannot handle full-motion video. At best, it can show simple animations. These are reasons Amazon, Sony and the other major e-reader makers are not yet embracing it. Amazon says it will offer color E Ink when it is ready; the company sees color as useful in cookbooks and children’s books, and it offers these books in color through its Kindle application for LCD devices. Sony is also taking a wait-and-see approach."
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E Ink Unveils Color E-Reader Display

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  • by Slutticus (1237534) on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:00PM (#34166050)
    ..embracing color. Children's books and cookbooks? That's it? Really? What about textbooks? I can see significant increase in e-reader use for textbooks if they had color capability. Not every HS and college student is going to have the luxury of having a pad/slate device. Color provides an extra dimension of information without physical space, pretty useful IMO!
  • by TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:00PM (#34166058)
    ... they want to sell what they have on their shelves and it's way too early to make all the buyers go out and rebuy a planned-obsolescence upgrade. If they wait, they won't anger all their christmas customers with finicky "i'll wait for it" choices.. you know.. for the good of the product.
  • Re:Magazines (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OFnow (1098151) on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:11PM (#34166208)

    Right. Color charts in "The Economist" are barely intelligible on Kindle.
    So Amazon saying color is just for cookbooks/childrens-books is silly.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:21PM (#34166334) Journal
    Textbooks and reference material also require faster screens, so that fast page flipping and quickly entering search terms become practical. I use an e-reader for prolongued reading (fiction, etc), but I have an iPad for reference material, textbooks and magazines; simply adding color to the e-reader would not make it good enough for those tasks.

    I'd love a device that combines both display technologies. I remember a company called Pixel-Qi working on an LCD that had a backlit and reflective mode. It looked quite decent in both modes on the video I've seen of their screen, but that video seemed to have been shot with an ancient Nokia held by a drunken grandfather with Parkinsons, in other words it was hard to really judge the quality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:55PM (#34166876)

    From what I know, B/W E-Ink doesn't do smooth animations and full motion video either, so I don't understand why Sony or Amazon are not jumping on using color E-Ink displays.

    I think you got to understand the target market better. If you want full color, high resolution, smooth animation/video displays, then use LCD or OLED technology. If you want an e-book reader with color graphics and simple interactive graphs, then use E-Ink.

    I think the biggest failure of E-Ink will be to try and compete with LCD. They are already years behind in being able to match what LCD or OLED technology can offer, so if Sony or Amazon is waiting for E-Ink to match those spec's then they will be waiting for a good long time. I don't believe E-Ink will ever replace or compete with LCD or OLED, period. It should be used in cheap pupose driven devices not expensive jack-of-all-trade devices.

  • by grumpyman (849537) on Monday November 08, 2010 @06:34PM (#34167398)
    Though the publishers could compensate their "cost" by offering "color" version of the same book for 2x the price.
  • by _Shad0w_ (127912) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:41AM (#34170728)

    I like the idea of having a light weight e-Reader which I can carry reference books on. But most of my reference books have colour diagrams, illustrations and figures. They really don't work in black and white - or at least are not as visually appealing, which is important when you're reading something.

    I'm not sure why the NYT thinks not being able to play FMV is a problem. I don't want to watch video on an E-Reader; I want to read books. I've already got devices which I can use for watching videos while on the move - though I seldom use them for that - but they suck for reading because of the glossy reflective displays. I just want a device for reading books on the move. In colour.

    If Amazon were to bring out a new Kindle with a colour display I might actually buy the damn thing.

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