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Old 05-08-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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E Ink Prototype Kit: Build you own Kindle DX

Hot on the heels of Amazon's Kindle DX announcement, E Ink published a press release announcing its 9.7-inch AM300 E Ink prototype kit that will start shipping on May 27, 2009. The kit will include:
  • E Ink Vizplex imaging film
  • Epson S1D13521 display controller
  • 16-level grayscale image support
  • Fast updates - pen input, basic animation, windowing
  • Linux software platform
  • Display utilities and sample code
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Battery operation

The kit sells for USD 4,000. Details and order link can be found on the E Ink homepage.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #2
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ouch!
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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$489 vs $4,000 ? Well done E ink !
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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i am a big noob and not much of a programmer...
I don't get this. is this prototype modifiable to the point where if we wanted epub, pdf, lit and all the other formats we can do it or is it a prototype where only the outer casing is modable?
What's the lure to make it worth the 4g's?
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
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i am a big noob and not much of a programmer...
I don't get this. is this prototype modifiable to the point where if we wanted epub, pdf, lit and all the other formats we can do it or is it a prototype where only the outer casing is modable?
What's the lure to make it worth the 4g's?
It is totally modifiable and includes source and all kinds of help for the task of producing a product including specialized tools. It is not for the end user.

Dale
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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I thought I saw a typo! Is eink serious?
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
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The kit is for companies that want to develop a prototype of an e-ink reader.

One would then have to develop some exterior casing and detailed software to make it work the way they want.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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It is totally modifiable and includes source and all kinds of help for the task of producing a product including specialized tools. It is not for the end user.

Dale
I kinda guess its a good idea... They make money on the proto sales, but how many can the feasibly sell? Amazon can pick one up and get new ideas for their next reader and sell hundreds of thousands...

Am i hitting the idea on the nail?
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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If you can program it, you can do it. And have the best reader out there too.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The kit is for companies that want to develop a prototype of an e-ink reader.

One would then have to develop some exterior casing and detailed software to make it work the way they want.
Capice! But still i think they might sell 100 tops.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:40 PM   #11
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Let's say Barnes & Noble buys one and uses it to design their own eReader. The next step is to manufacture tens of thousands.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:58 PM   #12
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Let's say Barnes & Noble buys one and uses it to design their own eReader. The next step is to manufacture tens of thousands.
Yeah, i think it's more for Amazon/Irex/bookeen/Sony/whatever to play with
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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They've had a similar kit out for a while using the 6" screen. That one is around $3,000 if I remember right. This announcement is just about a new kit for the larger screen size.

These are not meant for regular people like us. This is for a company that wants to create their own reading device. Basically, Sony/Amazon/iRex/etc buy these when they want to start building/designing a new reader.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:28 PM   #14
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This is how embedded development kits work

As a former embedded hardware/software developer, I can tell you that this is how embedded development kits work, price-wise.

Tech companies like E-Ink tend to price their dev. kits quite high in order to attract "serious product developers". They aren't interested in selling to the hobbyist because the hobbyist isn't going to place an order for 10,000 display units. So, the easiest way to discourage the hobbyist segment is to price the kits high. Amazon, Sony & others can afford the pay the premium.

Also, when developing a product based on a kit like this, you usually need a fair bit of technical support from the manufacturer. We're not talking level 1 tech support, we're talking support from the actual hardware engineers themselves - so, the cost of that support is also factored into the kit.

It sucks, but that's usually how it goes...
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:59 PM   #15
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This is a development kit usually targeted for companies who will develop their own eInk hardware.
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