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Old 08-26-2009, 12:44 AM   #1
pjssilva
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New technology for "touch" screen

I have just went to borders to see the new PRS-600. The unit they have there has an awful display. It looked very washed out. I was really disappointed as I really like the idea of making annotations to my books and papers (I am a university teacher, when I read a paper I make many annotations on them).

Then, I was visiting engadget and came across a very interesting video on a new technology to add a pen to "any" screen.

Note that this thing does not add an extra layer to the screen. Wouldn't it be nice to see an ebook reader with this technology (or something similar)? That would probably mean a thicker region on the top of the screen (to house the sensor), but I can live with that if I get the touchscreen with good image quality

Maybe Robert, from Astak, should take a look on this. He is well known for listening to forum members. Robert, are you listening?
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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Or, put the touch layer UNDER the eInk layer. Manufacturers that do it that way don't sacrifice contrast like Sony does.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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but do sacrifice power...
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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Plus you can't use Wacom touch screens (such as iRex use) with the finger - only the stylus works.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Plus you can't use Wacom touch screens (such as iRex use) with the finger - only the stylus works.
pjssilva was talking about "pen" screens.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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Aaand.. we're back to the OP's suggestion

I find it to be a great solution.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Riocaz View Post
but do sacrifice power...
Not really. Finger touch screens are not generally used the same way as stylus screens are. The only time the stylus screen impacts power usage is when you're continuously drawing on it. You don't really do that with a finger screen.

The power difference doesn't seem to have much to do with the layer being above or below the screen, or necessarily whether it's finger or stylus. The difference is most likely due to the continuous usage pattern of the touch layer.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
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Aaand.. we're back to the OP's suggestion

I find it to be a great solution.
The basic idea behind the DUO screen is actually pretty similar to what WACOM does.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
pjssilva was talking about "pen" screens.
Actually they were talking about both. And most people seem to find pen only systems unintuative in comparison to touch screens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Not really. Finger touch screens are not generally used the same way as stylus screens are. The only time the stylus screen impacts power usage is when you're continuously drawing on it. You don't really do that with a finger screen.
One could argue that pen only systems are less usable. I certainly found that with the iLiad. However that may simply have been the iLiad's implementation.

But on my Clio (the vadem one) I used the stylus and finger continuously to make annotations.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:29 PM   #10
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One could argue that pen only systems are less usable. I certainly found that with the iLiad. However that may simply have been the iLiad's implementation.
I think a lot of it would have to do with the implementation and UI design. I would think you could design a UI such that a pen is used to trigger the screen performing the exact same functionality as a finger would. So, other than having to make sure you could find the pen, the interface could be identical.

Other than that, it may come down to a tradeoff. Either a layer under the screen, a DUO type sensor, or a finger touch screen. The first two may not be as intuitive to use, but the latter will reduce your contrast. It would come down to what was more important to the user.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:12 PM   #11
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Very much listening!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjssilva View Post
I have just went to borders to see the new PRS-600. The unit they have there has an awful display. It looked very washed out. I was really disappointed as I really like the idea of making annotations to my books and papers (I am a university teacher, when I read a paper I make many annotations on them).

Then, I was visiting engadget and came across a very interesting video on a new technology to add a pen to "any" screen.

Note that this thing does not add an extra layer to the screen. Wouldn't it be nice to see an ebook reader with this technology (or something similar)? That would probably mean a thicker region on the top of the screen (to house the sensor), but I can live with that if I get the touchscreen with good image quality

Maybe Robert, from Astak, should take a look on this. He is well known for listening to forum members. Robert, are you listening?
Dear pjssilva

Yes, I also have heard from reviewers that the new PRS-600 gives a rather washed-out look to the screen!

Something HAS to be done.

I will take your video and send it to my boss and the factory both!!

I am intently listening!!
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Other than that, it may come down to a tradeoff. Either a layer under the screen, a DUO type sensor, or a finger touch screen. The first two may not be as intuitive to use, but the latter will reduce your contrast. It would come down to what was more important to the user.
PVI showed a possible solution awhile back: A touch screen technology which uses pressure sensors under the display. This way you could have finger input without the loss of contrast.

http://www.pvi.com.tw/en/news/news_view.php?lists=8
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:50 PM   #13
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Plus you can't use Wacom touch screens (such as iRex use) with the finger - only the stylus works.
Sincerely, I don't need a touch (with the fingers) screen. I only want to make notes on what a read. Today I use a pen for that. I can certainly use a pen based technology.

As for turning pages, etc. I can use buttons (and maybe the pen for less common situations, like changing the book).

Give me a good screen that allows pen based annotation and is sharp and I'll be happy.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dylrob View Post
PVI showed a possible solution awhile back: A touch screen technology which uses pressure sensors under the display. This way you could have finger input without the loss of contrast.

http://www.pvi.com.tw/en/news/news_view.php?lists=8
Thanks for the link. PVI technology may be even more interesting as it is already tailored to e-ink displays. Now that I know that there was already a solution for the "washed out" screen it is hard to forgive Sony. What were they thinking?

The problem may be the "spoiled by Apple" effect. Apple came with the iphone and its amazing touch interface. It is great and such and now people think that everything has to be "touch".

But an ebook is not a general purpose PDA (where the touch screen is great). It is a device tailored for a single use: read. Hence the quality of the screen has to be awesome. This is the first priority to me. There can be no commitments here. After the screen problem is solved, as it is by good e-ink displays, you may start to think about adding annotations. And we do annotate using pens so there is no change on the way we already work.
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dylrob View Post
PVI showed a possible solution awhile back: A touch screen technology which uses pressure sensors under the display. This way you could have finger input without the loss of contrast.

http://www.pvi.com.tw/en/news/news_view.php?lists=8
That's exactly what I was talking about. Thanks for the link. I didn't know they could do a finger touch layer under the eInk, that's cool. Definitely makes a lot more sense than putting the layer on top of the screen.
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