The leading electronic readers, Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader, have greatly increased interest in e-books but share a couple of limitations: they are rigid, and they display only in black and white.
Earlier this year, startup Plastic Logic introduced an e-reader that uses polymer electronics to create a flexible display that is the size of a standard sheet of paper. Coming next are two e-readers that will offer some benefits previously missing: one features a color display, and the other is a pocket-size gadget with a screen that rolls up.
The Readius, made by Philips spinoff Polymer Vision of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is the size of a cell phone and sports a rollable screen that stows away. The display uses the same black-and-white microcapsule display technology that’s used in the Kindle and the Sony Reader, but the capsules are applied to paper-thin flexible plastic and controlled by electronics made of polymer organic semiconductors. The Readius is expected to reach market later this year.
Courtesy of Polymer Vision
Cost: Not available Availability: Later this year
Company: Polymer Vision
Reading in Color
The FLEPia, made by Fujitsu, is the first color electronic reader to hit the market. Its screen technology is a stripped-down version of traditional liquid-crystal displays. Instead of using a backlight, it reflects ambient light from red, blue, and green crystals arranged in separate layers (in conventional LCDs, the three colors sit side by side). The crystals are arranged in a way that makes them transparent when not in use; electric currents change their orientation to make them reflect different colors. The reader has a touch screen that can be used with a stylus. The device was scheduled to go on sale in Japan in April.
Courtesy of Fujitsu
Price: about $1,000 (99,750 yen)
Other products in this section:
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
With this tool, AI could identify new malware as readily as it recognizes cats
A huge data set will help train algorithms to spot the nasty programs hiding in our computers.
Tesla says its factory is safer—but it left injuries off the books
Undercounting injuries is a symptom of a larger problem: Tesla has put electric-car manufacturing above safety concerns, former safety experts say.
Three problems with Facebook’s plan to kill hate speech using AI
Mark Zuckerberg thinks AI will largely automate the process of censorship, but that assumes profound progress will be made.