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View Full Version : Sony's electronic book hails new dawn for reading (E Paper Update!)


RobertoOrtiz
09-28-2006, 02:42 PM
Quote:
"
Books have been the orphan in the digital world. Music has the iPod. Video has YouTube. Books have, well, Amazon.com, where you can buy them printed on paper.

Of course, there are electronic books available for download at Amazon and elsewhere, but they haven't really caught on.

Sony Corp. however is now tackling part of the problem with the U.S. launch of the first e-book reader that imitates the look of paper by using innovative screen technology.

Is this the iPod for books? Not quite. But it is a step forward.

The Sony Reader is a handsome affair the size of a paperback book, but only a third of an inch thick. It went on sale this week for $350 (£190) on Sony's Web site, and is available in Borders stores in October.

Unlike other e-books, the screen has no flicker or back light, allowing the reader to spend as much time reading as they want without the fear of eyestrain.

The 6-inch screen can be taken for a monochrome liquid-crystal display at first glance, but on closer inspection looks like no other electronic display. It's behind a thin pane of glass, but unlike an LCD it shows no "depth" - it pretty much looks like a light grey piece of paper with dark gray text.

The display, based on technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-off E Ink Corp., is composed of tiny capsules with electrically charged particles of white and black ink. When a static electric charge is applied on the side of the capsule that faces the reader, it attracts the white particles to the face of the display, making that pixel show light gray.

Reversing the charge brings the black pigments floating through the capsule to replace the white pigments, and the pixel shows as dark gray"

>>LINK<< (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23368492-details/Sony's+electronic+book+hails+new+dawn+for+reading/article.do)

-R

RuinedMessiah
09-28-2006, 03:47 PM
I remember them previewing this a while ago and thought nothing more of it.

As someone who owns three bookcases filled with hardbound books, I look forward to seeing this technology develop. Hopefully in a fully iTunes style transaction system.

PyRoT
09-28-2006, 04:00 PM
I have been waiting sooo long for something like this and I am dissapointed by -as with all Sony products - the ridiculous price. Can't wait for a cheaper one from another company to come out here in Australia. I would really like it if this caught on as much as iPods though. It would mean people would probably on average become a little more interesting. Unless of course, they used it to just download pop magazines hah

Tomek

SheepFactory
09-28-2006, 04:49 PM
This is exactly what I have been looking for but the price is outrageous. Are there any cheaper alternatives?

talos72
09-28-2006, 04:55 PM
I actually would love to see an ebook reader in full color so you can read books with illustrations too. But it may be some time away. I concur with this Sony device being a bit pricey. Also, how long before many books I care to read are actually available electronically!

Flog
09-28-2006, 05:04 PM
This is something I've been keeping up with as a future for several venues.

The implications are amazing when you really look at it. If you have ever seen the movie "minority report" there are scenes where a guy is reading a newspaper and the headline automatically changes on it.

Can you imagine having news articles and them moving? National Geographic will never be the same when there are videos embedded in an actual magazine. And to get the next issue you simply purchase a little chip or download it off the web.

You have the look and feel of a book with the power of digital movement.

As time goes by you'll get full color (everything starts out black and white) and then move on to full color with video on a peice of paper. I'd love to carry a little book around where you can change the book by downloading or inserting a chip in the spine of the book. With everything else the price will eventually go down, but I see this as being a new revolution in print, combining the 2 together.

I can imagine reading my favorite magazine but at the same time have movement on the page and video in the background.

Check out Minority Report and pay attention to the newspaper the guy is reading in one of the scenes. It will give you an idea of the future of this product.

http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/minority-report-epaper1.jpg

And then autmatically in the scene it changes to reveal a new headline

http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/minority-report-epaper2.jpg

Apoclypse
09-28-2006, 05:24 PM
This is something I've been keeping up with as a future for several venues.

The implications are amazing when you really look at it. If you have ever seen the movie "minority report" there are scenes where a guy is reading a newspaper and the headline automatically changes on it.

Can you imagine having news articles and them moving? National Geographic will never be the same when there are videos embedded in an actual magazine. And to get the next issue you simply purchase a little chip or download it off the web.

You have the look and feel of a book with the power of digital movement.

As time goes by you'll get full color (everything starts out black and white) and then move on to full color with video on a peice of paper. I'd love to carry a little book around where you can change the book by downloading or inserting a chip in the spine of the book. With everything else the price will eventually go down, but I see this as being a new revolution in print, combining the 2 together.

I can imagine reading my favorite magazine but at the same time have movement on the page and video in the background.

Check out Minority Report and pay attention to the newspaper the guy is reading in one of the scenes. It will give you an idea of the future of this product.

http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/minority-report-epaper1.jpg

And then autmatically in the scene it changes to reveal a new headline

http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/minority-report-epaper2.jpg

That would be cool, but we might see newstands either change o go out of business. Maybe not right away but in the future. Just like who actually uses a walkman nowadays and cd players are getting phased out by the ipod.

BTW, this very same idea was used in back to the future 2.

sstreaker
09-28-2006, 05:42 PM
Check out Minority Report and pay attention to the newspaper the guy is reading in one of the scenes. It will give you an idea of the future of this product.

http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/minority-report-epaper1.jpg

And then autmatically in the scene it changes to reveal a new headline

http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/minority-report-epaper2.jpg

Cool idea. But speaking for myself, I would get irritated by constantly changing articles. You're in the middle of a story and then it changes? How annoying would that be?
"Aw, c'mon! I was reading that!"

noxy
09-28-2006, 05:57 PM
I like my reading 100% analog, when I start getting banner ads or hyperlinks in my books, then I'll know the end is here. Magazines are the only medium where digital delivery could work, and even then, it doesn't really seem necessary.

Noxy

durbdk
09-28-2006, 06:13 PM
I'mplanning on buying one of these when I travel to the States for Christmas (it'll 50% cheaper there). I also have bookcases full of books, and loads more in e-format on my computer, plus the ability to use .pdf files with it is perfect! For anyone who is a real bibliophile, this is a dream come true. I do tend to read 4 or 5 books at a time and always carry about 3 with me, the e-reader will allow me to bring nearly all the books I am studying (don't tend to read too much fiction...with some exceptions); well worth the $350.00.

Can't wait to get it! :bounce:

jscheel
09-28-2006, 06:57 PM
One thing that has always bothered me is the price and rights of e-books. How much is the publisher saving by not printing on paper? Are they passing these savings on to the customer, or are they just increasing their profit margins? What if I want to sell a used e-book? Is it going to be protected by the DMCA?

trthing
09-28-2006, 07:01 PM
- Ouch, its pricy!

- Damn, it looks good!

- Where's the wireless/bluetooth feature?

- Will it let me open more than one title at time (cross-reference)?

- Which memory card does this one accepts?

- Does it uses Li Ion batteries?:twisted:

- Does it have an optional backlit mode for those dark places?

SheepFactory
09-28-2006, 07:06 PM
Here is the actual product page from sony store:

Click here (http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=PRS500U2&INT=sstyle-PortableReader-tophero-portable_reader)

http://www.sonystyle.com/intershoproot/eCS/Store/en/imagesProducts/650x650/ebook.jpg

Kaostick
09-28-2006, 08:31 PM
- Which memory card does this one accepts?

- Does it uses Li Ion batteries?:twisted:

- Does it have an optional backlit mode for those dark places?


In the article it says...

-SD or Memory Stick
-Yes
-No

trthing
09-28-2006, 08:49 PM
In the article it says...

-SD or Memory Stick
-Yes
-No

Thanks, I really couldn't find the mem card info on Sony's page: should have reread the article.

Well, having a backlit option kind of defeats its purpose but it would be ironic to have to plug one of those traveler LED lights...

Kaostick
09-28-2006, 08:51 PM
The funny thing is, the way the article is worded, it seems like an external LED would drain the device faster then actually having the device on. :D

thoughtlesswhisper
09-28-2006, 09:17 PM
this is pretty dumb gimmick imho. you can buy a pda to do the same thing granted without a 'non flicker display' *sigh*.

plus books have lovely character to them. you get the dog eared corners and broken spines. its nice.

i thought itd be 50 quid or summing. youd have to be a hardcore book worm + gadget whore to buy that, and im not sure what percentage of the popluation that fits.

someone will rob it off you on the train. no ones gonna want your crusty spinless book. apart from you :)

rebo
09-28-2006, 09:27 PM
Have to admit it does look like a great leap forward.

Think i'll pass till the second generation, but certainly will keep an eye on this technology.

Flog
09-28-2006, 09:40 PM
this is pretty dumb gimmick imho. you can buy a pda to do the same thing granted without a 'non flicker display' *sigh*.

plus books have lovely character to them. you get the dog eared corners and broken spines. its nice.

i thought itd be 50 quid or summing. youd have to be a hardcore book worm + gadget whore to buy that, and im not sure what percentage of the popluation that fits.

someone will rob it off you on the train. no ones gonna want your crusty spinless book. apart from you

That is the thing, in the long run it won't look like a PDA but actually have the look and feel of a book. Someone will eventually make it look like a book with turning pages. You can have 100 books on 1 memory key, placed right in the spine and have the look and feel of a book.

I'm looking forwrad to the moving comic book. I think this technology will be novel at first and for many years, but soon the concept is to be able to paint a wall with this kind of liquid used on the E-paper and have that as your tv. OR put it on a big peice of special paper and have a whole movie played.

I'd love to sell my movies this way. On a magazine that looks like a comic, you open the page and you have an entire movie. You can collect it and have the movie forever. Gives you the feel of a good book and the motion of a movie.

RuinedMessiah
09-28-2006, 09:53 PM
Somehow, I knew anything by Sony will instantly be pointless and stupid to thoughtlesswhisper. I was just hoping he would notice it's an ebook device would chase him away but I guess I was wrong.

I'm looking forwrad to the moving comic book.

Speaking of which, have you seen the Metal Gear Solid digital comic book for PSP? It's not groundbreaking but it is damn fun to watch/read. There needed to be much more navigation control though.

Jhonus
09-28-2006, 09:55 PM
This is exactly what I have been looking for but the price is outrageous. Are there any cheaper alternatives?

i've been using a psp with version 1.5 firmware and the Bookr homebrew software. Reads all kinds of file formats and is pretty customizable. (font size, text colour, background colour, shortcuts etc)

Just hold it side on and use the shoulder buttons to skip through pages.

http://www.fumi2kick.com/jpegbook/psp_shot_s.jpg

Omnifarious
09-28-2006, 10:36 PM
Right away it's just too flimsy. It has to be able to withstand a fall. Some thick rubber casing around it with a palm grip so you could one hand it would also secure it better.

But the price is the real scare away. And quite honestly, I love my library of books. Most of my favorites are not going to be available anyway so I will pass on this.

PyRoT
09-29-2006, 01:11 AM
Guys, I am sure Sony has thought of all these improvements and more. However, they are realsing this one so they can then release new versions later with new-tech such as a backlit screen, better design (You really don't need buttons numbered 1-9) and something more durable.

chadmv
09-29-2006, 01:19 AM
The price is actually not too bad. I used to work in a university bookstore where students commonly buy $150-$300 worth of textbooks per quarter. Textbook publishers will probably hate this thing but college students could end up loving it. Not only do you get rid of the 10 pound physics books, but the price of the (e)book should go way down. Make the screen a bit bigger using that flexible paper display technology and add a stylus ability for notes and you have a college students new best friend (besides beer of course).

TumikSmacker
09-29-2006, 01:22 AM
That would be cool, but we might see newstands either change o go out of business. Maybe not right away but in the future. Just like who actually uses a walkman nowadays and cd players are getting phased out by the ipod.

BTW, this very same idea was used in back to the future 2.

I thought the newspaper changed because they had changed what happened in time, it wasn't the newspaper actually changing :D

Szos
09-29-2006, 02:41 AM
i've been using a psp with version 1.5 firmware and the Bookr homebrew software. Reads all kinds of file formats and is pretty customizable. (font size, text colour, background colour, shortcuts etc)

Just hold it side on and use the shoulder buttons to skip through pages.

http://www.fumi2kick.com/jpegbook/psp_shot_s.jpg

I was gonna post that you can read eBooks on a PSP.... I haven;t tried it yet on mine, but think it is a great idea... espesially since the PSP is not only cheaper, but can do much, much more than just be used as an electronic book.

--

The technology for eBooks has to evolve dramatically - regular old paper is such a fantastic medium - you can write on it, it's contrast ratio is great, you can roll it up, you can't really "break" it, and it's dirt cheap. eBooks have to be able to do most of those before they become really popular... those bendable displays (OLEDs?) show much promise.

RuinedMessiah
09-29-2006, 03:05 AM
The only problem with the PSP solution is that they now ship with 2.51 and beyond firmware. Which, last I recall, is not downgradable via hacks. Which, when people mention all the nifty things homebrew can do, I suddenly bring up the fact that, most of the time, I catch crap for owning two PSPs. One which is hacked with 1.5 and another has the latest enforced firmware from my last game purchase. I think 2.7 or something like that.

jcorpe
09-29-2006, 04:30 AM
To bad you couldn't ditch the battery and just rub your head with it everytime you wanted enough electricity to turn the page ;) Lithium Ion seems like overkill for this, since it doesn't require juice after updating the page.

gent_k
09-29-2006, 08:30 AM
Honestly, not trying to bash at anyone in particular, but you really should read more into this before making such ignorant comments, comparing it to PDAs and such.

I think this looks great, and I don't agree with some of you about the convenience of books etc. compared to this. I mean reading a ~600 page book continuously for hours isn't the most comfortable experience.

I don't think the multi-page digital book will ever be realistic (or useful for that matter). If the technology gets there and the thing feels like paper I don't think it will ever be 'cheap' enough to use on magazines, let alone newspapers(:rolleyes: ).

IMO the most realistic progression of this technology would be a device that is quite thin and is flexible and in some way it resembles paper and has some kind of intuitive interface that won't need physical buttons etc, but follows the same logic as this sony device, i.e. you buy the device and load content to it as opposed to buying content which uses this technology separately.
Other than that stuff like the thing on minority report etc. might only ever be show-off projects of some companies and never ready for mass consumption. Seriously, all that technology and use it in newspaper publishing for consumption by millions of users, and sell the content for a quarter of a $? (but "dream on" I guess :P)

CgPilot
09-29-2006, 09:00 AM
If the device fits in your hand (like Sony's) it's to small to read text in any comfort, IMHO. I think youre still beter of with a PSP or PDA. A larger format (like a US Letter format) would be much better to read!

Szos
09-29-2006, 10:41 AM
If the device fits in your hand (like Sony's) it's to small to read text in any comfort, IMHO. I think youre still beter of with a PSP or PDA. A larger format (like a US Letter format) would be much better to read!
But there in lies the problem... if it is a nice large size to READ, it becomes too big to carry around or stuff in your pocket. If you are going to have something that is about Letter-sized, then why not go full-out and get a tablet PC? These devices seriously need some kind of super-thin, flexible display. I believe it was Phillips (and probably other companies too) that were showing off a display so thin, you could roll it up.

Until that technolgy becomes available, I consider all these devices as gimmicks.

thoughtlesswhisper
09-29-2006, 08:32 PM
Somehow, I knew anything by Sony will instantly be pointless and stupid to thoughtlesswhisper. I was just hoping he would notice it's an ebook device would chase him away but I guess I was wrong.

somehow i knew any word against sony would warrant a comment from you.

Dont troll me. I gave reasons why i dont like the TECH. I have a Sony Clié btw. Thats what i was suggesting when i mentioned pda. I have a SONY clié PEG-NX70v and it has palm os5 which can read e-books. AS WELL as play games, draw pics with stylus, make animations, play mp3s/movies/flash, go on internet, u name it.

Honestly. You are the most defensive person. I DONT LIKE THE IDEA OF THE TECH. My pda was alot cheaper and came with memory, headphones, docking station etc... I think the price is too high for what it does and as i said it is aimed at a niche market.

....(fanboy)....

RuinedMessiah
09-29-2006, 10:32 PM
removed the post. Not worth the effort or arguements.

thoughtlesswhisper
09-30-2006, 08:43 AM
removed the post. Not worth the effort or arguements.

Yes exactly right. And i prefer it if you didnt refer to me in your posts. Lets just talk about the thread topics shall we?

RuinedMessiah
10-02-2006, 01:17 PM
Yes exactly right. And i prefer it if you didnt refer to me in your posts. Lets just talk about the thread topics shall we?

I've BEEN largely ignoring you. I take most of your comments the same as a YouTube "OMG SOONY SUXXORZ" blog because that's all it typically is. I removed my comment because other posters don't want to constantly see us battling. I did it for them, not you.

And if you don't want me to mention you at all, maybe you should come up with a different trick besides "Sony sucks, Microsoft rocks" comments. Also, in case you missed it, in another topic, I actually said you made a valid point, as strange of an occurance as that is.

thoughtlesswhisper
10-02-2006, 08:10 PM
Yes exactly right. And i prefer it if you didnt refer to me in your posts. Lets just talk about the thread topics shall we?

.........................

RobertoOrtiz
10-02-2006, 08:18 PM
People, it is just a new display technology. This is not a good reason to go for each other's throats...



Lets tone it down please.

-R

danshewan
10-02-2006, 08:28 PM
I like my reading 100% analog, when I start getting banner ads or hyperlinks in my books, then I'll know the end is here. Magazines are the only medium where digital delivery could work, and even then, it doesn't really seem necessary.


Quoted for agreement.

Plus, it's only a matter of time before one explodes.....:D

* ducks *

Squash-n-Stretch
10-02-2006, 08:30 PM
Those two love birds will always go at each others throats, Robert. It's part of being a TROLL!

I saw this in the paper the other day...I love how it rolls up (so Minority Report) but peasant commoners like me won't be able to afford it for a few years :shrug:

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