If you are looking at ebook reader reviews and comparing ebook readers you will have come across the terms ‘page turns’ ‘refresh rates’ ‘anti glare’ and probably a few others. If you aren’t sure what they all mean then don’t worry because most of them are minor benefits which are enhanced to improve the list of specifications.
With the ever increasing growth of modern technology it is very difficult to keep up with all the new developments. Advertising and marketing companies are aware of this and will boost any new technology with a whole range of new words to help sell the product. There is nothing wrong with this provided you understand the difference between true facts, such as size and weight, and relative facts, such as it’s faster or smoother.
E Ink technology has fallen to this and one of the terms used is ‘page turns’ which does stretch the imagination a little bit. Because the term ‘refresh rate’ has already been used with television and computer monitors it makes sense to come up with a new term to describe what is happening. Most of us can relate to ‘page turns’ and what it represents.
To have a better understanding of some of the language used it may be useful to know what E Ink technology is and how it works. E Ink is made up of microcapsules which are about the diameter of a human hair. Each capsule is filled with white and black particles. The white particles are positively charged and the black particles are negatively charged.
If a negative electric field is applied the white particles rise to the top, at the same time a charge is applied to bring the black particles to the bottom. If you reverse the charge then the black particles rise to the top and you have a dark area displayed. Too keep it simple that really is all you need to know on the technical side.
As with all technology it is developing all the time. The new standard now is E Ink Pearl which has 16 levels of grey as opposed to the original E Ink standard which was 8 levels. This doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference with text but will improve the reading of ecomics or emagazines. It also supports ‘localized animation’ which means that advertisers will be able to use some animation in magazine advertisements.
Recently it was announced that E Ink color is now available. It was inevitable as a progression of the technology but it is surprising the speed at which it has advanced. It looks very much like E Ink color ebook readers will be available in the near future.
E Ink technology has to be considered one of the major advances of the decade. With the power savings over LCD or plasma we are likely to see it used more and more in our daily lives. Already it is being applied in cell phones and remote controls and with the ebook reader it will finally bring printed text into the digital world.