E-Book Readers and E-Ink: Their Previous, Present and Future

E-Ink is not an ink as such, but a type of encapsulation utilized in eBook Readers. Ink has been utilised for thousands of years, and the principle of ink upon paper to convey thoughts, ideas and messages is a sound one. Paper is simple to carry around, and does not require a power supply, but it also has limitations. It is finite, and has to be replaced when utilized, and what is written cannot be updated. It can be scored out or added to, but not updated.

In the electronic age, then, it would make sense to create an electronic equivalent of ordinary ink that would overcome these defects, and this is what was completed. As early as 2000, folks have been discussing the future. As Kevin Kelly place it in Time.com on 19th June, 2000: “The Individuals of the Screen (operating at locations like E Ink and Xerox) are creating thin films of paper and plastic that hold digital ink. A piece of paper then becomes a paper screen: one minute it has a poem on it, the subsequent it has the climate.”

E-Ink Corporation was founded in 1997 in response to developments carried at the Media Lab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joe Jacobson of MIT applied for a patent in 1996, which was awarded in 2000. There had been preceding perform carried out on tiny magnets which have been black 1 side and white the other, flipping more than according the polarity of the charge applied to them.

E-Ink, as it was known as, is a material that is produced in the type of a film that can be integrated into electronic displays. It consists of a microencapsulated suspension in a clear medium containing particles which are white one particular half and black the other, the white getting positively charged, and the black with a unfavorable charge. According to Digital Book Readers, the technologies behind electronic paper is thirty years old it was created at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center).

When the top and bottom of every microcapsule have opposite electric fields applied, the white half of the particles flip up towards the prime when that is charged with a adverse electrical field, and the black to the bottom which is charged positive. That microcapsule then appears white, and the opposite is true when the fields are reversed. In that way, text can be shown in black and white.

Improvement continued so that the display remained even soon after the energy source was switched off, and E Ink Corporation formed an association with Phillips, who announced that the initial E-ink screen should be obtainable by early 2003. Later, on 1st June, 2009, E Ink Corporation agreed to be purchased over by Prime View International for $ 215 million.

The technology led to the development of the eReader, developed to read eBooks made using the E-ink technology such as the iLiad, the Sony Reader, the Reader from Plastic Logic and the Amazon Kindle. The technologies was also incorporated into cell telephone displays, the 1st being the Motorola F3.

Nonetheless, it was when Oprah got involved, and stated Amazon’s Kindle to be her favorite eBook reader, that eReaders really hit off. Amazon’s shelves rapidly emptied and other folks came onto the scene, such as Sony with their six” screen PRS-505, also making use of the e-Ink display. The 1st colour ebook reader in the world was Fujitsu’s Flepia, available from April, 2009.

This machine provides an eight” touchscreen with the capability of 260,000 colors, collectively with wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and also delivers a mini USB port. It also supplies an on-screen keyboard, missing from the Kindle, and an SD card reader than can be employed to shop books bought from Papylus, an on-line book store.

An additional new development in 2009 was Amazon’s Kindle two, supplying a 16-tone grayscale E-Ink screen. Dutch company Endless Ideas joined the club with the BeBook, and even though a bit down-marketplace in appearance compared to some eReaders, it nevertheless delivers multiple fonts and 3 zooms, even though weighing in at a featherweight 220 grams (7.eight ounces).

So what does the future hold for ebook readers? A lot of that will rely upon the future of reading itself, and according to Steve jobs, Apple CEO, “It does not matter how excellent or bad the item is, the fact is that people don’t study any longer. Forty percent of the folks in the US read 1 book or significantly less final year.”

It is unlikely that men and women will stop reading altogether, of course, and of these that do read, many will nonetheless prefer the standard book with its looks and really feel. However, the use of eBook readers might well expand in company and education as data is disseminated electronically, and these practical transportable devices can be employed anywhere, specifically with wireless internet connections.

Color will undoubtedly expand, and the $ 1,000 price tag of the Fujitsu Flepia and its successors will drop as competitions heats up. Even so, perhaps the future does not lie in eReaders per se, but in the technology of E-Ink and E-Paper in common. Men and women choose portable devices, and they do not want to use multiple devices for multiple utilizes. The improvement of the netbook from the laptop might offer a clue as to the future of eBook readers.

The netbook is essentially a tiny laptop, and a device such as this has been predicted to be the major net connection device within 10 years. There is no cause why the netbook cannot carry out the combined functions of the laptop, Blackberry and eReader, employing E-Ink technology. A netbook with a color touchscreen, E-Ink and paper technology, hidden pull-out or fold-out keyboard (or possibly even speech recognition) and with video, audio and cell phone capability could effectively be the device of the future that will take the spot of all other hand-held portable devices.

Who knows, but one point is specific. Nothing stands nonetheless, and the Kindles and Flepias of this planet will be totally distinct beasts next year, let alone in ten years time. E-Ink has come of age, and exactly where it goes from right here is anybody’s guess, despite the fact that the future of eReaders most likely lies in an amalgamation of a number of at the moment person technologies and electronic devices.
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