July 7, 2004
E-Ink and the Sony Libre
Read a review of the new Sony Libre, an e-book reader that makes use of the new e-ink “digital paper.” The technology is really brilliant, the kind of thing that could actually allow an “iPod for text” to be developed.
J.D. Albert, one of E-Ink’s co-founders, gave a presentation to my Digital Libraries class last term. He passed around a sample of the e-ink display. The screen has a resolution generally compared to that of newsprint, thin, somewhat flexible, and apprently uses very little electrical power (only when the display is refreshed). While Sony’s implementation may not be ideal (and not available in the US), I think the concept could take off… provided publishers make content available.
Since this entry is getting an undue amount of Google traffic, here are some updated, functioning links for info on the Libre:
- Sony’s Libre Product Page This is almost entirely in Japanese, but it has a cool, papery aesthetic.
- Library Without Books from the Guardian. This is probably what you’re looking for.
- First look at the Sony EBR-1000 Librie eBook reader, at dottocomu. Another good article.
Further update (4/30/2005)
Kottke just posted his impressions of the Librie
More news (9/10/2005)
The Make Blog has an interesting how-to on making DRM free e-books for the Sony Librie.
Looking to buy? The Sony Librie can be purchased from Dynamism.com, currently for $479.
Also of interest, Fujitsu announced recently their own version of electronic paper, which displays in color and requires no power once the image is set.