Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kind(le) Words for Cambridge's E Ink

Cambridge's E Ink is supplying the screen for Amazon's new $399 e book reader, the Kindle. This is the first tech device I've wanted to spontaneously purchase in a long time... in part because it seems to fill a new need (I'm always hesitant to ditch my current cell phone or mp3 player or GPS for something slightly better.)

Steven Levy of Newsweek has the most comprehensive look at the Kindle, and he has some very nice things to say about E Ink:

    A reading device must be sharp and durable, [Jeff] Bezos says, and with the use of E Ink, a breakthrough technology of several years ago that mimes the clarity of a printed book, the Kindle's six-inch screen posts readable pages.

    ...This decade's major breakthrough has been the introduction of E Ink, whose creators came out of the MIT Media Lab. Working sort of like an Etch A Sketch, it forms letters by rearranging chemicals under the surface of the screen, making a page that looks a lot like a printed one. The first major implementation of E Ink was the $299 Sony Reader, launched in 2006 and heavily promoted. Sony won't divulge sales figures, but business director Bob Nell says the Reader has exceeded the company's expectations, and earlier this fall Sony introduced a sleeker second-generation model, the 505.

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