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Next Kindle Expected To Have a Front-Lit Display 132

Posted by timothy
from the complicated-tradeoffs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon doesn't show off prototypes unless it is pretty confident about the tech, so you may be surprised to find the next Kindle is probably going to have a front-lit display. The lighting tech comes from a company they purchased back in 2010 called Oy Modilis. It specialized in such lighting and has patents related to whatever Amazon decided to use. The display is meant to be lit in a blue-white glow, and if it's anything like Flex lighting probably won't impact battery life too much. The question is, does anyone really want or need a light for their Kindle?"
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Next Kindle Expected To Have a Front-Lit Display

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  • Not a huge concern (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @06:26AM (#39611473)

    The kindle works very much like how a book does - you can read it in the same conditions, with the benefit of a consistent size, portability and of course the ability to carry many "books" with you at the same time. There's a plethora of itty-bitty book lights and similar reading aids out there that work just as well for the kindle as any book. You can also get cases with lights built into them specifically designed for the kindle. This is a welcome addition, but seems more evolutionary than revolutionary.

    • I feel the same way. All the years I spent reading paper books, I never once thought "if only this thing had a built-in light." I also never desired to read my mail, watch television, or listen to the radio with a book. I think that people who read are more concerned with a user experience that enhances reading, and I have found that a lamp next to my bed has been the best innovation yet when it comes to reading at night.
      • by ccguy (1116865) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:21AM (#39611573) Homepage

        All the years I spent reading paper books, I never once thought "if only this thing had a built-in light."

        Well, just marry someone how wants to sleep while you read in bed.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by neonKow (1239288)

          Just don't use a freaking searchlight to read and a small lamp should be just fine.

          • by fafaforza (248976) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @11:23AM (#39612517)

            I don't understand the resistance to something like this. What if you're on an overnight flight and don't want to use the overhead light because everyone else is asleep. What if your subway lights go out (as they sometimes do in NYC).

            What will eInk people complain about next, electric light bulbs? Kerosene lamps were fine, and your horse drawn carriage got 12 paces to a fart and no one complained?

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            I use a small clip on light [mightybright.com] on my Kindle, but there's still significant spillover to the wall when I'm laying down with the Kindle - my partner gets to watch the shadow of my kindle playing on the wall or ceiling while she tries to sleep. That's with the light on "low" setting, *and* a small piece of kleenex taped to the light head to diffuse and reduce it - the stock light is even brighter with more spilover. When I roll over to my side, the light slides so I need to re-position it, which takes some doing

        • by Mista2 (1093071)

          Nice to have these features, but what I really want is to be able to read my epubs on a kindle, the I might buy one. For now I'll keep using my tablet and phone so I can run any reader I want.

          • by locopuyo (1433631)
            You know they have really nice free programs for managing and converting all formats of e-books and uploading them to your e-reader of choice. Calibre is a nice one. I use it with my nook simple touch, which I prefer over the kindle touch.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:07AM (#39611697) Homepage Journal

        All the years I spent reading paper books, I never once thought "if only this thing had a built-in light."

        As an avid reader from a very young age, with parents that would say "Lights out, Giacomino, you got school tomorrow!", a light was one of the first things I thought should be built into all books.

        And comics! And later, glossy magazines with women in various levels of undress that my friend in the 6th grade stole from the back of his dad's bottom drawer (but here's the killer...) that I was later to learn also had short stories (!) by Nabokov, Henry Miller and Philip Roth. That may have been what really set me on a life of literature: the close association between naked ladies and very sophisticated writing. It's why after all these years, even though he is very creepy, if I were to see Hugh Hefner on the street, I would personally thank him.

        Yes, lights built into all books, stat.

        • You're too late. Most laptops have backlights. Kids these days aren't stealing porn from their dad's drawers, they're downloading gigabytes of the stuff to their computer and putting them in TrueCrypt partitions.

          Good writing, not so much.

        • by Thing 1 (178996)
          My first Playboy experience: wasn't my mag, a friend had obtained from his father (not sure if father knew), and sure there were nekkid ladies in there but the only thing I recall? The comic, which had a lady holding a small black box near her crotch, the guy standing holding a phone, and the caption was her saying "Page me again!!!!" (Yes, it was from before cell phones.)
          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            The comic, which had a lady holding a small black box near her crotch, the guy standing holding a phone, and the caption was her saying "Page me again!!!!"

            Pagers? My first Playboy experience was closer to the first Moon landing than the first cell phone.

            Alleged moon landing, that is.

      • by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:30AM (#39611749)

        I feel the same way. All the years I spent reading paper books, I never once thought "if only this thing had a built-in light."

        If you google for "clip-on book light" you'll get enough hits to suggest that there is a demand for a way to illuminate a book in the dark without turning on the bedside lamp, and I guess Amazon sold a lot of those covers with the built-in light. Of course, building one into a book isn't sensible, because you'd need one built into every book. With an ebook reader, it makes sense. In other news, you probably never thought "if only this book had built-in WiFi, 3G, speakers, a headphone jack and a micro-USB socket" but I'd wager that at least one of those is on your "must-have" list for an e-reader.

        • I bought a light for my first Kindle, the DX, then my second Kindle is the Kindle 3, which I have the Amazon cover for. For both I prefer to use the lamp next to my bed to the light on the Kindle. The lamp doesn't create any irritating 'hot spots' and I can read at more angles and rest the Kindle in more places without the appendage, plus I find warm incandescent light more comfortable than the harsh LED light. If I were the luddite you are accusing me to be, I wouldn't own a Kindle. Some features are cle
          • Third-party clip-on lights are kinda meh - I tried several until I finally figured I might as well just drop the cash on Amazon's cover with integrated light... and it actually works very nice - somehow the angle "just works". This isn't to say that it achieves perfectly even lighting, but it does not have any obvious hotspots - it's a smooth gradient, and all corners are bright enough to be readable.

      • by moortak (1273582)
        I often read while walking to work. For about half o the year there is plenty of light. The other half I would appreciate a built in light.
        • I often read while walking to work. For about half o the year there is plenty of light. The other half I would appreciate a built in light.

          I just thought you were drunk.

      • All the years I spent reading paper books, I never once thought "if only this thing had a built-in light."

        You can buy them for paper books too. I have one which clips onto the top of a book and lights the current page.

        • You can buy them for paper books too. I have one which clips onto the top of a book and lights the current page.

          And everybody I know who uses a Kindle has some variation on that in use.

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:27AM (#39612009) Journal

      Eh, if it doesn't impact the battery life much, or substantially change the device dimensions, then I don't see the harm. I know I'm tired of people pointing out my e-reader is not a tablet and thinking they're getting some kind of dig in by asking if I can read in the dark. If you see me reading it, and ask about it, and I tell you I love it, you're not clever for pointing out that I could play bejeweled if I'd bought an iPad.

      A light is not enough to overcome the format issues, and general Amazon scumminess to get me to switch from my ePub native e-reader, though...

    • by fooslacker (961470) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:28AM (#39612015)
      I actually think it's a bigger deal than that because of the changes in the way we read and the context of what is possible now versus when paper books were the only medium to communicate the written word. While I agree with your basic analysis regarding traditional books I think the difference is the iPad and other tablets (note I'm ignoring the Fire because I see that as a poor compromise between an iPad and a Kindle non-Fire)

      Before these devices the Kindle was the undisputed king of readers and all it had to do was replicate the book experience as closely as possible and I was thrilled. With the iPad I now actually read more on my iPad than my Kindle because the interface is better (Kindle is addressing this with various touch technologies but I don't yet have an eInk touch version) and I can read in the dark at the end of the day. However, the reading experience on the iPad leaves a bit to be desired in any overhead lighting environment because of glare (I haven't tried the new one as I'm still on iPad2). As a result I used to be completely happy with my Kindle but now I have two devices that I'm probably 70% happy with because the context of what is possible/available has changed.

      As you said book lights can solve the problem but it's just another complication to the process that needs batteries and to be attached and to be stored and generally adds to the inconvenience. This wasn't an issue with books because there wasn't an alternative but since the context has changed and I now know it's an extra hassle it becomes annoying.

      I think these technologically evolutionary improvements are exactly what has a chance to create revolutionary functional change (not that this one necessarily will if it is poorly executed) and win Amazon back some market share. As a result I love when companies focus on experiential design facets of a product rather than just cramming the latest chip in something and adding features to add features regardless of how well executed the feature may be.
      • Before these devices the Kindle was the undisputed king of readers and all it had to do was replicate the book experience as closely as possible and I was thrilled. With the iPad I now actually read more on my iPad than my Kindle because the interface is better (Kindle is addressing this with various touch technologies but I don't yet have an eInk touch version)

        I don't see why touch interface would be any better for actual reading. Stuff like highlighting text, search, shopping etc - yeah, sure, I can see that. But flipping pages? Give me hardware buttons for that any day. That way I can hold the reader in one hand while resting the finger on the "next page" button, and just slightly increase the pressure on it to flip. On iPad (and Kindle Touch), you either need to do the swipe - which means using two hands - or you need to tap the margin, which still requires so

        • Well that's not really what I was referring to, but to respond to your point...

          1. I specifically mean the interface for managing hundreds or thousands of books not so much for flipping pages

          2. That said, I actually hate the kindle buttons. I hit them all the time on accident and the forward and back layout isn't intuitive to me so I regularly go the wrong direction. That doesn't mean touch is better for flipping just that the kindle button layout sucks, IMO.

          3. I agree the iPad is too heavy, howev
    • by clodney (778910)

      You can also get cases with lights built into them specifically designed for the kindle. This is a welcome addition, but seems more evolutionary than revolutionary.

      I agree that this is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but I would snap one of these up in a heartbeat. I already have the reading light case for my Kindle, and while it is nice, it means that the device has to be in its case to be of use. Having one built in to the display surface seems like a big step up, assuming that it has no more power drain than the existing external lights, and has an on/off switch.

      As someone who has aging eyes and a preference for overall low light levels at home at night, a

    • We have 3 Kindles, an original, the 2nd gen, and a Fire. Mostly my daughter uses the 2nd gen and the Fire. Which one gets taken along in the car depends not so much on what content is loaded on which kindle, but on things like: Will it be dark when we are driving back from the gym?

      In other words, a self-lighting book is usable in places a dead-trees book is inconvenient. I would definitely like a lighted Kindle that had good battery life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @06:31AM (#39611483)

    I read in bed most nights... not very practical without a light. I have the case with a built-in light. Yes I could use a tablet but e-ink is the way to go for long fiction books. Plus the Kindle is the best investment in history if all you want to do is read, you can leave wi-fi off if you have DRM psychological problems and the battery lasts for weeks and load it up with classics from project gutenberg. That's why nobody cares about rooting their e-ink kindle, it only does one thing well but does it perfectly.

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      Much as I loved my kindle 3 (with surplus keyboard), I've since switched to the kobo touch after a problem with the kindle screen out of warranty - it's gone all 'ghosty'. Same idea as the kindle touch, except that _still_ isn't available in the UK yet; they wouldn't even ship a US version to the UK. It's up for pre-order now, finally, at £109 - or the kobo touch is available now from a ton of places, has been since xmas, and is only £80 (or the non-touch version for £49 @ asda, vs £

      • by Threni (635302)

        The touch is released in the UK in a couple of weeks.

        • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:05AM (#39611691)

          Into their 2nd biggest market after the US 7 months after the US - september 28th 2011 in the US, April 27 2012 in the UK. And there will probably shortages making it even longer before general availability. They withdrew the kindle keyboard without 3G (the model I had) leaving only the kindle basic @ £89, or the kindle keyboard @ £149.

          Seven months is a long time in consumer electronics. Amazon had the e-ink market pretty much to themselves for the previous couple of generations. We still don't have the kindle fire or any projection for it. (which to be fair, really involves getting all the rights for the amazon app store, the movie store etc which aren't in the UK either, so I'm not terribly surprised at that).

          But the kindle touch? No extra rights needed there, it's just an e-reader, same as the kindle 3. You can buy a kobo touch, and have been able to for months and months (backed by one of our biggest book/stationary retailers, WH Smith) for less than the kindle basic! Even when the kindle touch comes out, it's going to be £30 or 27% more expensive for what is virtually identical hardware to the kobo. If you want cheap, the kobo basic is almost half the price of the kindle basic, for again very similar hardware. You couldn't even import the touch, unless you went grey market for even more money and no warranty support.

          Amazon don't have the e-ink market to themselves in the UK any more, even if the Nooks aren't available here. For a while, the kindle beat the crap out of the alternatives for both hardware, and better pricing, but that's no longer true. Amazon need to be aware of that now with their pricing and treating us like a captive market that will hang around and wait if they don't want to lose significant share to the competition. They've still got significant mind share - everybody knows about the kindle - but that won't last forever if they keep treating us like marks to be fleeced.

          • Why not get a B&N Simple Touch instead? As a side benefit, you don't feed Amazon's attempt to become the Microsoft Word of e-publishing.

            • by arkhan_jg (618674)

              Nooks are not officially for sale in the UK (I don't think they ever have been), and you pay import duty to bring em in. They're not a bad price at all on ebay uk (£70), but that's US resellers, so £20-£30 shipping plus you're still liable for import duty if customs spots it. So ~ £90 to £100 even if you avoid duty. Found a UK seller, it's £105, so that's amazon touch pricing. And of course, no recourse to B&N, as it's a parallel grey import, so even if they would war

          • Amazon don't have the e-ink market to themselves in the UK any more

            Indeed. WHSmiths, one of the largest high-street book sellers, is heavily pushing the Kobo reader, and the cheapest model is about 25% cheaper than the cheapest Kindle.

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        or the non-touch version for £49 @ asda, vs £89 for the kindle basic

        Assuming you can actually get it for that price at Asda. I've heard they've had similar "great" prices on things like that in the past, then it turned out that they were sold out because they only ever had a very few on sale, i.e. it was a gimmick to get you into their store.

        That said, IIRC and AFAIK you *can* get them for around £60 from some sources without too much difficulty.

        • by arkhan_jg (618674)

          Agreed that asda sometimes are a bit 'flexible' with availability, but I know a few people who've got their hands on one, I saw them in stock at my local a few days ago, and they're currently listed as in stock on their website : http://direct.asda.com/Kobo-Wireless-eReader---Onyx/000518285,default,pd.html [asda.com] - you can pick up in store, or have home delivery.

          I think this one is a legit drop, rather than a gimmick special offer.

          IIRC, Asda helped drive the price of the kobo touch down from £99 to its curre

      • I used to think e-ink is great, and I still read books that way, but honestly it's overhyped and much too primitive to be a good book reading device.

        The worst problem is that I can't read ebooks outside. As soon as the sun shines on the display, the e-ink starts disappearing (I believe it's something to do with the display heating up, but whatever it is, e-ink is just not good enough). The other problem is glare when reading inside. It's comparable in annoyance to those glossy paper magazines, when you re

        • My e-reader is fine in sunlight. Sounds like a problem with your particular model.

          Screen size is a trade-off; my reader has a smaller screen than most others, but it fits nicely in a pocket. I've seen readers with e-ink screens up to 9", but they're more expensive, of course.

          • Have you tried it on the beach in summer? That's the kind of sunlight I'm talking about.
            • Yes.

              • Hmm. I thought this problem was the case with all e-ink readers, but doing a quick search [google.com] on the net suggests it might be a problem with some displays manufactured by LG. That would be awesome.
                • It's got to be your device. There have been three Kindles in my household, one of each generation, and none has ever looked bad in direct light - in fact they look their best in direct sun. And glare is a much bigger problem with the glossy iPad surface than the matte Kindle surface. Outdoors, nothing beats e-Ink.
        • by clodney (778910)

          My first Kindle had a problem in hot sunlight - reading by the pool in Vegas, I learned I had to put it face down (i.e. in the shade) during page flips, or it would have trouble redrawing the screen - washed out and partially missing text.

          I went to the 3rd generation Kindle and it has never had that problem.

        • I have an iRex iLiad, which is one of the first generation eInk devices from a now-defunct company. Scientific papers are fine, and I've spent many summer days sitting in the park with the sun shining directly on the screen without any display problems. I'm more concerned about the fact that the sun heats up the device beyond what I think LiIon batteries are supposed to tolerate...
      • by mrmeval (662166)

        The Kobo touch seems to have a problem with refresh but a firmware flash seems to fix it by giving the user a setting for refresh of 1-6 page turns. The reviewer does not seem totally happy with the fix. The reviewer calls it ghosting and there is a screen shot. It's pretty ugly.

        http://portables.about.com/od/ebookreasers/fr/Kobo-Touch-Review.htm [about.com]

        • by arkhan_jg (618674)

          Same problem with the newer kindles - they use the same generation pearl E Ink display as the kobo. I don't have a significant issue with ghosting - it's there if you look VERY closely, or have a black-heavy image on a previous page, but it's not an issue when you're just reading text. You can set it to do a full refresh every page, same as the kindle 3, or up to every 6 page turns, which is the default. I have it set on every 4 turns on my kobo, which provides a decent balance between the two for speed/vs

          • by mrmeval (662166)

            I'd get a Kobo before a Kindle.

            Right now a friend is hawking his book on Amazon and there is no way I can find to download his book DRM free. He's not been able to turn that off or he's lied and said he cannot turn it off.

            Amazon is also forcing one-click to buy it and I won't use that. Because my friend is convinced Amazon is the shats meow I can buy it and then have them send it to me DRM free but at this point I'm not touching one-click until the patent is expired.

      • I'm curious, but did you disable the screensaver? That's supposed to keep the screen constantly refreshing to prevent exactly such a ghosting behavior over time.
    • by LesFerg (452838)

      I have a small bedside lamp which used to be sufficient for reading paper books with, but found it to be useless when trying to read my new Sony Reader. Not sure why that is, but ended up using a cover with built-in light now.

      Also the bus ride home during winter will require the light, interior lighting quality varies and last winter the drivers usedta turn off the lights randomly for some reason.

  • by UCFFool (832674) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @06:53AM (#39611531)
    It's likely that the Nook will be using Flex Lighting [the-ebook-reader.com] in its next version, due out very soon. There is even a video of it in action [youtu.be] on a reference device. I use a clip-on light, which has the issue of glare off of the screen, so I actually think this is a viable step up, especially since it will not always be used, is always available, and will have a minimal effect on battery life. I'm actually really jealous (since I don't have the cash to play the upgrade game with my Nook Simple Touch).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I struggle because I read late at night with the wife asleep next to me. I can't read books then either - because a lamp will wake her up. However, if I could have a very dim backlight - #totalwin

  • Not blue light! (Score:3, Informative)

    by WillKemp (1338605) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:11AM (#39611553) Homepage

    I wouldn't have a Kindle if you paid me, but occasionally i wouldn't mind if my Kobo touch had a built in light. However, given that recent research has shown that blue light at night is bad for you in various ways, it would be much better if the built in light was towards the red end of the spectrum.

    • by reub2000 (705806)

      If your so worried about night vision, then why not invest in an eye patch?

    • by anagama (611277)

      Why -- just why -- does everything have a blue light anymore? Blue LEDs are everywhere and even on devices meant to be used in darkened rooms (monitors, TVs, DVD players, etc). I had been hoping the blue light fad would die out, but it's been years now. When will it end?

    • I wouldn't have a Kindle if you paid me, but occasionally i wouldn't mind if my Kobo touch had a built in light. However, given that recent research has shown that blue light at night is bad for you in various ways, it would be much better if the built in light was towards the red end of the spectrum.

      why so much hate for the kindle?? the thing that invented the e-reader?
      i agree that a dim red light would be highly preferable to a bright white one. though it wouldn't look cool in videos and adverts.

      • by WillKemp (1338605)

        why so much hate for the kindle?

        I don't hate it, i just don't want one. I try and avoid corporate lock-in wherever i can. If it supported epub format i wouldn't have any problems with it at all.

        • but it does support mobi. and epub is easily converted to mobi.

          • I've got a huge library of .mobi books, and when I want to read one, I copy it to my kindle and it shows up in my list of available titles on my Kindle 3. Haven't had a single problem with any .mobi books and I've read hundreds that way.
          • by WillKemp (1338605)

            [......] epub is easily converted to mobi.

            How do you convert drm'd epub to mobi?

            • you don't. that's why drm is considered bad. and that's why you shouldn't buy from stores that give you drm'd files. in fact its great that kindle does NOT support drm.

  • The question is, does anyone really want or need a light for their Kindle?

    Need? Some do.

    Want? It depends on the price. It depends on what Nook offers.

    Amazon sells clip-on lights and lighted covers so I guess they have a better idea than anyone of what people want and are willing to pay for.

    The Fire is "lighted" by default.

  • Yes please !!!!!

    The Kindle is great, but for some reason it needs a really bright light to read with in bed.

  • by radio4fan (304271) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:49AM (#39611655)

    The question is, does anyone really want or need a light for their Kindle?

    Yes.

    To me, it's already like a magic book. A magic book that lights up has got to be better!

    • by Nimey (114278)

      I have such a beast already for my Kindle - my wife bought me the official cover that's got a deployable LED light which gets power from the Kindle's battery. It's pretty slick, and the only complaint I have is that she spent too much on it - I think it was ~$50 for the cover at the time.

      • The price Amazon charges for those LED covers is definitely a rip-off, but they can get away with it because theirs is the only one that doesn't actually suck (as in, produce highly contrasting small spots of light).

  • Perhaps it's to compensate for any deficiencies that colour eInk may exhibit? A colour eInk Kindle being pure speculation on my part of course,
  • Yes. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xenex (97062) <xenex AT opinionstick DOT com> on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:02AM (#39611681) Journal

    The question is, does anyone really want or need a light for their Kindle?

    Yes. My Kindle has been gathering dust since purchasing an iPad. I actually prefer a backlit screen; easier in low-light conditions. Shrug.

    • by Jaktar (975138)

      I went full circle. I had a e-ink Nook, then my wife bought a Kindle Fire. Reading on the backlit screen is more tiring than reading on the e-ink screen with an external LED light.

      The problem with the Nook is that it has rounded edges, so I pretty much need to find some sort of case to put it in that has a light. All the clips I've tried don't attach well, like they would on a book. It should have come with a built in LED light source.

    • Ditto. I loved my Kindle (first version, got it when it came out) but my iPad is much better for me because I tend to mark my books up to hell and gone which was possible but difficult to do with the Kindle.

      I also use a lot of reference books, journals, etc. and again while the Kindle let me search, the search capability is much, much easier to work with on the iPad.

      Now, if we could have an iPad with a full-color e-ink screen that was as good as the iPad 2 (but retina would be amazing) and just as responsiv

  • The Kindle is a neat little thing. It's the closest thing to a book in terms of text, and can store nigh-unlimited amounts of books. I love the size and the fact that it's comfortable to read for long periods of time. I have the Kindle app on my iPad too, but I can't stare at a backlit screen with a white background for that long. With that said, there's nothing wrong with adding new features! If I'm in an area without much natural light (say, riding in a car at night where turning on other lights may distract the driver), then a backlit screen would be great. As long as I can turn the backlight off (further preserving the awesome battery life, which I forgot to mention in the last paragraph), I'm all for it!
    • by StikyPad (445176)

      I have the Kindle app on my iPad too, but I can't stare at a backlit screen with a white background for that long.

      Perhaps you are not aware that you can configure the Kindle app to use white text on a black background?

  • Dimmable and with an on/off switch please, and then i may stop reading on the iPad :)

  • I've always found that orange hued displays are easiest on my eyes. Blue is up there on the visible wavelength, and most of the blue LEDs out there are shockingly bright. You'd think they'd go for something lower in the spectrum.
  • Surprised no one mentioned this. On long overnight trips all the lights go out, and there are times when you can't (or shouldn't) use the seat lights. I already use the cover that provides light, but it provides very little in the way of protection to the kindle, so it's a hassle keep putting it on and off.

    I'd trade my kindle for a new one if they came up with a lighted one.

  • It would be great if they used tri-colour LEDs so that you could smoothly tune the light colour across the spectrum, to choose the colour best for readability in the environment you're currently in.

  • The question is, does anyone really want or need a light for their Kindle?

    That's a lot like ending a story about a new agricultural technology with "But does anyone really want or need to eat?"

  • ...and no one wanted it. Seriously:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pieco/kapsule-lightstand-kindle-accessory [kickstarter.com]

    I guess if it's built-in and "free", people will want a reading light. Otherwise, not so much.

    • Why do you believe that your light is the "best"? Particularly, why do you think it's better than Amazon's LED cover?

      I have tried many "gooseneck" lights, and they all have the same basic problem - they focus the light too much, resulting in a very annoying bright spot. Looking at the video, your light has the same exact problem. Amazon one is different because they used a thin and narrow "stripe" LED, and placed it at just the right angle to provide a very nice, even coverage of the screen.

      • by hirschma (187820)

        Why was it the best?

        It was cheaper. It used less electricity, about 1/3 as much. Despite the video, it threw more diffuse and even light than the Amazon cover. The LED used was "warmer". It was provided a kickstand feature, and worked great as an ergo-grip. The light could be adjusted optimally for many different reading angles and positions, while the Amazon light worked just for one (it's not good for reading in bed, for example).

        And for some folks, the Amazon light offends their vegan sensibilities, and

  • My wife suffers from insomnia and often reads in the middle of the night: having a light on her kindle would be a godsend.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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