Bye-bye Kindle, E-reader Screens Coming for Netbooks

The snippet below is taken from an article on PC World

Netbook makers will soon play a larger role in the e-reader market if start-up Pixel Qi has anything to say about it.

The first Pixel Qi product, called 3qi, is a 10.1-inch netbook screen designed to work in three modes: a black-and-white e-ink mode for reading text documents and e-books, and two color modes, designed for use indoors or in bright sunlight, that are more suitable for Web surfing and video playback.

E-ink mode extends battery life by shutting off the backlight, and is intended for reading e-books, documents, Web sites or blogs and other text-based material.

more info:
Pixel QI Blog
Pixel QI
PC World

Fujitsu Explores eNewspaper potential at cafe

Fujitsu Ltd are testing coloured ePaper readers in a cafe in Japan.

Customers of “Termina Kinshicho Fujiya Restaurant” can pick up the terminals equipped with a color electronic paper module on the tables and browse newspapers and advertisements wirelessly sent to the terminals. The four companies will verify whether the electronic paper module can be accepted as a terminal for reading newspapers and other content, and whether the service can promote sales and boost customer satisfaction.

Users can read the newspapers by operating the terminal while waiting for their orders, or enjoy viewing the advertisements and timetables that are automatically switched to a different screen every several minutes when the terminal is not being operated, such as when the users are eating.

Full story here Tech On

Amazon to reKindle it’s love affair with eBooks

Well it’s not exactly new news, but in case you’ve missed it, it would appear that on Monday 9th, Amazon will eventually announce the Kindle 2, whether they announce the much rumoured free “premium subscription” Kindle is anyone’s guess.

For more info, ahem, “rumours”, check out the links below.

Engadget:
Amazon to host press event at library, innocently whistling when asked about Kindle 2

Citigroup analyst says 500,000 Kindles were sold in 2008

Appleinsider:
Amazon rumoured to introduce Kindle 2 next Monday

Boy Genius Report:
Amazon Kindle 2 may be coming on February 9th

image from Boy Genius Report

Foxit eSlick Reader Announced

Foxit Software announced today that it will be selling it’s very own branded eBook Reader, the eSlick Reader for the amazingly low introductory price of only $229.99 (then $259.99), which is incredible when compared to Sony’s eReader $399 and Amazon’s Kindle $359.

The eSlick has a 6 inch, 600×800 pixel screen, which uses the same display technology as the Kindle as supplied by E Ink Corporation. The unit weights just 6.4 ounces (180g) and is only 0.4 inches thick (9.2mm). It has 128meg of memory, capapble of holding hundreds of books, with a battery life of over 8,000 page turns.

The eSlick is expected to ship in 5-7 weeks, but unfortunately will only be available within the US.

For more details visit Foxit Software

Shift Happens, Are You Ready?

The following is an edited version of a post from my personal blog

I recently found my notes from a presentation I gave 13 years ago, at the time upon seeing it, everyone I knew thought I was nuts, as the basis of the presentation was simple All music will be available online for free, or so cheap that it might as well be” as the distributors and artist will make their money in other ways, concerts, t-shirts sales, merchandise etc in essence giving the customers what they want.

Look at the music industry in the past 10 years then think about what I said back then, just how crazy was I? The labels tried DRM, it didn’t work (DRM free did), they tried to keep prices high, that didn’t work either, they were too slow to move with the tide. You only have to look at the likes of Jamendo to see the predictions coming to fruition, entirely free, good quality, legal music downloads.

The movie industry is doing the same, they think they’re safe due to movie file sizes, but they’re not, data speeds are going up, compression improving, portable players increasing… DVD’s have a 2-3 year life expectancy, HD-DVD & Blu-Ray was undoubtedly the last physical format war, everything will be online & instantly available very very soon!

As they say, “Shift Happens”, the newspaper & journal industry in it’s current form is on it’s last legs, they appear to have forgotten what they’re really about, which is delivering “News” not newspapers, paper is merely the delivery mechanism, but it’s days are numbered, newspapers & books are a dying format, there will be those that will cling on to the printed page as long as they can, but sooner or later you have to face up to the tide of change.

So there’s a mindset shift that needs to happen with those that like to read paper now, but the next generation won’t have the same limitations, they’ll simply want whatever is most convenient and most up to date, as we say, no paper is the future. Although a limiting factor currently is the hardware, reading on a computer screen or an iPhone isn’t great, eReaders that use e-Ink like the Kindle are so like reading paper, you hardly notice you’re not, and their costs are tumbling. It’s time for the publishing houses worldwide to wake up, accept the sea of change, and prepare for it, otherwise they better be ready to move over when the flood happens & those ready to embrace the advantages of the new formats and market space out pace them. If the old guard don’t step up to the plate, new ePublishing houses will appear on the scene giving the audience what they want (now where have I heard that before?)

Will eBooks, replace paper books & newspapers? absolutely… but at the end of the day, does it really matter which format prevails, as long as more people are reading & writing, who cares how it’s delivered, we’ll all be winners!

UPDATE 5th Feb 2009:
I just noticed the video below on Jaculynn Peterson’s old blog (she now has a new one!). It’s a video clip of Michael Rosenblum at The Society of Editors conference 2008, it would appear that we are kindred spirits!

World’s First Five-Inch eBook Reader

BEIJING, Nov 03, 2008, Hanvon announces a new slim 5 inch e-ink eBook Reader. The device includes 1Gig of internal memory capable of storing hundreds of books & documents, mini USB connection, MP3 audio playback and allows text input for note taking. The Hanvon N510 Supports TXT, HTML, PNG, JPG, PDF, XEB, CEB, MP3, MTXT formats on its 167 PPI, SVGA (800 x 600 pixels) electronic paper display and will retail for $295.

further details here (Wall Street Journal)
Hanvon website (NB: link is in Chinese)

Next Gen eReaders Arrive

Copied from Forbes.com the full article here

Amazon’s Kindle was fun. Now it’s time for electronic readers to get to work.

On Monday, Netherlands-based iRex Technologies is slated to unveil the iRex Reader 1000, the first in a wave of e-reader devices that promise bigger screens and improved interfaces and functionality. And unlike Kindle or Sony’s Reader, this second generation of e-readers aims to bring innovative E-ink display technology to the more demanding, and possibly more lucrative, world of business.

The iRex Reader 1000 offers a 10.2-inch diagonal E-Inkscreen, far larger than Kindle’s 6-inch screen or even iRex’s own 8.1-inch diagonal iLiad, its last e-book model. That stretched display is designed to work with any file format, be it an e-book, a full-sized PDF, a Word document or HTML. Like earlier iRex devices, it sports a stylus and touch screen for taking notes and marking documents.


Engadget’s take

Plus Sony Launching reader refresh next month