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Old 01-01-2010, 04:18 PM   #106
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If they make it out the commercial door. I want Mirasol to, but until I can see it in the marketplace, I won't bet on it....
It's rather unlikely they won't be out the door in the next year or two. They've got quite a leg up in terms of brand strategy and marketing, and they're production-capable and have their own large dedicated fab. They're a juggernaut compared to a company like Pixel Qi, and unless there is some kind of huge hangup somewhere, they're going to be in the marketplace pretty soon.

I agree, it's too early to be certain it'll be on the market right away (their projection was 2nd half 2010), but they're not just some small hopeful startup with a vague proof of concept.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:30 PM   #107
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Ekaser, you're right with the question of what we define as niche... and of course, we're all in that tiny minority who read *lots* as opposed to the sports pages and the packaged-for-the-short-of-attention web news pages, blogs, and (gawd help us) twitters.

So perhaps the question might be not 'will eink be supplanted by xxx technology?' but 'what will be the technology on the bulk of hand-held devices?' You are almost certainly correct that the majority of tablet-style devices will be high-speed refresh displays in full colour, and probably backlit... but those tablets are likely to be massively multi-functional devices; probably equivalent to a laptop with the screen on the outside. And it's likely that those will be used for reading ebooks.
But that will not be the primary use for them.
I strongly suspect that there will be stand-alone book readers, and displaying books is either all they will do, or will be their primary function... and that they will have a display compromised in some way but which still offers a good *reading* experience.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:37 PM   #108
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The niche of eink dedicated book reading devices will be around for another good 5 years. It will take that long (or longer) for LCDs to get up to those high resolutions which have zero eye strain.

So people who 'just' want to read books on a device with clarity comparable to print will stick to e-ink readers. Of course the mainstream public demands the devices also do high def video, internet, chat, video conferencing etc. So the mainstream will have super advanced devices which do all of that + e-books. Hardcore readers like us will have dedicated niche e-ink devices for a few years yet.

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Old 01-01-2010, 05:57 PM   #109
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first of all, I gotta say I stopped reading after the first few posts ...

when it comes to e-ink vs. coloured lcd screen with backlight ...

I can read for hours on my e-ink device without a problem. Recently, I read a short text on my computer monitor and my eyes hurt.

Of course, I am sure you can't compare my 5 year old monitor with some new devices, but still ...
I am really satisfied with e-ink and I don't see a reason why I should get away from it ...
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:15 PM   #110
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Yep, no reason for you to change. I have no reason to ditch my Kindle for novel reading either.

I just need something suitable for reading and marking up academic PDFs etc., so I look forward to seeing what happens on the tablet front, as well as large screen readers like the Que etc.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:47 PM   #111
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I was talking to a friend of mine this past week--she received a Kindle for Christmas. The one thing she wanted was the ability to backlight so that she could read in bed. I told her about the clip-on lights and we discussed pros and cons. In the end, I think her solution will be to read on the iPod Touch at night so that she has the backlight.

I think the key takeaway for me is that with a reader, ideally you would have both--some situations you don't want backlighting, some you do.

The other takeaway was that the younger generations EXPECTS backlighting and don't mind it. In fact, she had never thought of any reason to not have it and wasn't certain that not having it was a good thing (she could read just fine on the Kindle, but wondered why it was the way it was.)

Whoever can come up with a device that allows for both wins. :>)

Maria
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:02 PM   #112
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Does your friend have a lamp next to her bed?
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #113
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She might read while her significant other is sleeping etc. and need something less bright than a lamp.

I use a clip light and it works, but a back light would be better for that instance.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:48 PM   #114
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Can EInk Scroll?

That's the one thing I miss from reading on my Treo with Mobi-pocket. The ability to scroll and never having to touch the page advance button. My new Sony doesn't do that, and I really miss it.

I'd be open to other technology if it could scroll.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:55 AM   #115
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E-ink refresh rates are pretty slow, so that's probably why they can't scroll currently.

Personally, I prefer flipping pages to scrolling--as it's more like reading a paper book.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:53 AM   #116
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That's the one thing I miss from reading on my Treo with Mobi-pocket. The ability to scroll and never having to touch the page advance button. My new Sony doesn't do that, and I really miss it.

I'd be open to other technology if it could scroll.
None of the EPD (such as the Eink brand) panels can auto-scroll...yet...if you look at the speed of the demo's for the new Sony PRS900 it's obvious the ability is there, but the controllers as well as the display drivers need to evolve to make it happen. So it is going to happen, just not tomorrow but there is a good chance late this year or likely next year for sure. Problem is, rumor is that Mobipocket is on the way out so there is always the chance the latest mobipocket reader software will not run on your device of choice, especially considering that Mobipocket requires exclusivity for DRM'd content if the mfg wants Mobipocket's software on the device. so if the device has ADE then it will not support Mobipocket software and instead, rely on a 3rd party app like FBReader to read non-DRM MOBI format books...lots of BS involved for sure and all of it is bad for the consumer. It is also possible that device makers will not understand how useful auto-scroll actually is for users and/or adding auto-scroll to the reader software that does run on a given device, is not in their budget, at this microsecond anyway.

Anything with an LCD panel has the potential to be able to auto-scroll like a PDA. I love that feature on Mobi-reader on my Clie because the Clie has a "jog wheel" on the left side, where it belongs , letting you dynamically control the scroll rate.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:10 AM   #117
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The other takeaway was that the younger generations EXPECTS backlighting and don't mind it. In fact, she had never thought of any reason to not have it and wasn't certain that not having it was a good thing (she could read just fine on the Kindle, but wondered why it was the way it was.)

Whoever can come up with a device that allows for both wins. :>)

Maria
The simple reason that you cannot backlight an eInk screen is that it's opaque - the light wouldn't shine through it. You can have side-lighting (as the Sony PRS-700 does) or front-lighting (as with clip-on lights), but you cannot have back-lighting.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:44 AM   #118
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The simple reason that you cannot backlight an eInk screen is that it's opaque - the light wouldn't shine through it. You can have side-lighting (as the Sony PRS-700 does) or front-lighting (as with clip-on lights), but you cannot have back-lighting.
I believe most people who ask for "backlighting" actually mean just any kind of lighting, they just use the term because it's the one most often used.

The same happens with "smart quotes". People use that to mean "curly" or "oriented" quotes. The "smartiness" is only in the text processor that converts straight quotes into curly ones...
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #119
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Does your friend have a lamp next to her bed?
As the next poster guessed--her husband doesn't want a light on while he's trying to sleep! The little clip lights would probably work, but the iTouch will likely end up as the answer since they already own one. Of course the iTouch was HIS Christmas gift last year so I think I just ungifted it with my suggestion and it will be in the hands of the giver...

As for the e-ink/opaque versus backlighting--yes, I know the current technology doesn't allow for backlighting. My point was that something should be invented that DOES allow for both. Obviously it won't be e-ink as we know it; it'll have to be some ultra cool device invented by aliens whose technology is more advanced than ours...our just a couple of guys in a garage (which seems to be where most really cool inventions happen--something about gasoline fumes, I wonder??)

Maria
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:06 AM   #120
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As for the e-ink/opaque versus backlighting--yes, I know the current technology doesn't allow for backlighting. My point was that something should be invented that DOES allow for both. Obviously it won't be e-ink as we know it; it'll have to be some ultra cool device invented by aliens whose technology is more advanced than ours...our just a couple of guys in a garage (which seems to be where most really cool inventions happen--something about gasoline fumes, I wonder??)
Sorry, garages and aliens are right out. The material would have to be something that severely bends several laws of optics, since it would have to be highly reflective when off, and highly emissive when on. In general, for an opaque material, emissivity+reflectivity=1.0. There are a few exceptions, but not many, and none I know of are helpful.

The best suggestion I've ever heard of is a reflective roller shade (or some equivalent) that slides down between the backlight and an active LCD panel. Me, I'll stick with two devices, a PDA and a reflective screen.

If you prefer reflective screens like eInk, buy a reading light. Besides, your mother told you not to read in a dark room, you'll ruin your eyes. And eat more roughage, too. And...

Regards,
Jack Tingle
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