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Old 05-11-2006, 10:04 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Hitachi surprises with Albirey e-paper display

Oh goodie, what a big day. While most of us are still contemplating whether to get the Sony Reader or iRex iLiad, Hitachi silently emerges from their dugout and announces the Albirey eBook reader display (remains to be seen if this device can be used as a dedicated e-book reader). Details are still scarce, but Engadget was able to decipher a Japanese report and discovered that the reader is not based on E Ink technology but on technology from Bridgestone. Like the iLiad, it also features WiFi 802.11b connectivity. No further info available, at least nothing that could be described as meaningful.

Edit: I believe the screen is only two-scale, black and white, with a color version expected to arrive in 2007.

Edit 2: Discoverd this PDF (in Japanese) describing the reader and also the distribution system. Anyone familiar with the language care to translate for us?

Edit 3: Daniel sent in more details (thanks!):
  • Measurement: 222.6×289.2×3.7mm
  • CPU: H8S/2215 (16bit/16MHz)
  • Memory: Flash 8MB
  • Power: Lithium polymer (3.7V)
  • Display size: 13.1", 2-scale monochrome
  • Resolution: XGA (1024×768 dot)
  • Contrast: 1:7
  • WiFi: IEEE802.11b
So what do you think, will this change your decision which e-book reader to buy next?

Related: Hitachi joins the league of e-paper manufacturers

[via Engadget]
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:16 AM   #2
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interesting that it's supposed to go on sale tomorrow...
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:25 AM   #3
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I expect this reader to be meant for the enterprise market. According to the PDF, they will sell this device in four different line-ups.
  • Entry model: up to 10 devices. The model which is optimum to the introduction of the experimental system
  • BASIC model: 20-40 devices. The model which is optimum, to the store of Konaka scale such as small stand and restaurant
  • Advanced model: 50-70 devices. Such as shopping mall and department store and large-sized mass sales store, the model which is optimum to the large-scale store and facility
  • Enterprise model: 80-100 devices. Traffic business and the like, the model which is optimum to large-scale wide area development
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:29 AM   #4
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so it's an electronic sign and no electronic book?

No controls on the device itself as far as i can see...
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:38 AM   #5
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Looking at the stats and the missing controls (nice find, CommanderROR!), I believe this device is not meant to be an e-book reader. Even though, the screen size is amazing (13.1"!!!!!).
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorow
Looking at the stats and the missing controls (nice find, CommanderROR!), I believe this device is not meant to be an e-book reader. Even though, the screen size is amazing (13.1"!!!!!).
I think that's true. According to another article from IT PLUS, Hitachi was working on a field test at the Tokyo Station, from December 2005 to February 14 2006. They were using the device as a bulletin stand, set on a waiting room. The display was updated every 5 minutes, showing the latest news, forecast, and ads. It was 6mm thick, had a small sized battery and memory inside, and received the data via Wi-Fi, from a sever based at a nearby kiosk.

Bridgestone says that their technology isn't reserved only for Hitachi, but is open to other companies as well. I'm just waiting for some other company to use this panel, and make a product for the consumer market.

Last edited by bicradash; 05-12-2006 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 05-12-2006, 02:23 AM   #7
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I would think that the iLiad stays ahead of any product developed from this display.
1. Screen resolution of the iLiad is the same so it probably does not look as well on closeup because the individual pixels have to be bigger.
2. iLiad is already graysscale which means it can implement antialiasing for fonts.
3. Adding controls to it would make it even bigger. Too big for easy carrying.
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:49 AM   #8
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It's probably a type of a message board, it even has no card slot... Which costs almost nothing nowdays... Only 8mb for current messages...
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:53 AM   #9
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Based on what I can gather from the PDF
this is a display system - hence the wifi.


Not an ebook reader... but a possible market should Sony or Iliad decide to get its SW right.
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