There were some new developments in the e-reader space this week. Here are few of the stories:
New e-paper competitor – Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have created a new display that looks more like actual paper. The display is much brighter than the current E INK technology because it reflects 55% of ambient light as compared to 35-40%. The researchers say that the technology could eventually reflect more than 60%, making the display almost as bright as white paper. The researchers have developed partnerships with other companies and will soon begin commercializing the technology.
Braille e-book reader – Although it is likely still a concept at this point, four designers have created a Braille e-book reader that would use electromagnetic signals to change the surface pattern of the device to simulate Braille text. The technology to create the device is already available so we could see this device in the near future.
BeBook e-reader – A smaller, cheaper version of the original BeBook e-reader will soon launch in Europe. The reader has an E Ink display and runs on the Linux operating system but it does not offer wireless capability. There is no word yet if the reader will launch in the U.S.
Sony to do away with proprietary format in UK - At the London Book Fair, Richard Palk, Sony’s new business content and services manager announced that they will move away from their propriety format in favor of ePub in the UK. Palk commented, “ePub has become the de facto UK consumers' format of choice." He also added that Reader and ebook sales have exceeded expectations, "We see demand for ebooks and digital readers growing in the UK. It's clear that a reading revolution is beginning." There is no word yet, if a similar decision will occur for the US market.