Filed on Jul 08th 2008 in Technology, Culture & Society
The future of the book? Mimicking a classic
A recent post commented on e-book sales and a new e-book reader that did a better job of supporting the kinds of actions people perform when reading from traditional print. Electronic Papyrus: The Digital Book, Unfurled, which was written by Anne Eisenberg, professor emeritus at Poly, and which appeared in this Sunday's edition of the New York Times, talks about changes in the display that may make some e-book readers more convenient to carry around while maintaining readability and function. "New technologies are developing that make displays flexible, foldable or even as rollable as papyrus, so that large screens can be unfurled from small containers." The article highlights one device called the Readius, which is as small as a cell phone, but allows the display screen to roll out like an ancient scroll manuscript. Instead of the LCD display used in most pda's and mobile phones, the Readius uses the more vision friendly, battery saving E Ink used in the Amazon Kindle, and the Sony Reader Digital Book. Watch this video to see the readius, or perform a search on YouTube to find others.
While the Readius is an impressive display of technology, improvements are in the works. Soon, we can expect to see color displays that look as good as the LCD screens on a notebook computer. The new screens will have more than just display quality going for them. In addition to their flexibility, Shawn O'Rourke, director of engineering at the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University, mentioned that some of these flexible displays are so durable that they have still worked after being pounded by a hammer. I would not recommend trying that with your high end notebook screen.