E-Book readers and E-Ink: their past, present and future

E-Ink is an ink as such, but a form of encapsulation used in eBook Readers. Ink has been used for thousands of years, and the principle of ink on paper to communicate ideas, thoughts and messages is a sound principle. The paper is easy to carry, and does not require a power source, but it also has its limits. It is finite and must be replaced when used, and what is written can not be updated. It may be noted on or added, but not updated.

In this electronic age, then it would be wise to develop an electronic equivalent of ordinary ink that would overcome these shortcomings, and this has been done. By 2000, people were discussing the future. As Kevin Kelly put it in Time.com June 19, 2000: “The People of the screen (working in places like E Ink and Xerox) are creation of thin films of paper and plastic that hold digital ink A piece of paper becomes. a paper screen: one minute he has a poem about him the next day, she has time “

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E Ink Corporation was founded in 1997 in response to developments made at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joe Jacobson of MIT has applied for a patent in 1996, which was awarded in 2000. There have been previous work on small magnets that have a black side and white on the other, returning as the polarity of the load applied to them.

E-Ink, as it was called, is a material that is produced as a film that can be incorporated into the electronic display. It consists of a microencapsulated suspension in a medium containing particles that are in clear black and white half of the other, being positively charged white and black with a negative charge. According to readers of books, the technology behind electronic paper is thirty years, it was developed at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)


When the top and bottom of each microcapsule have opposite electric fields applied, the white half of the particles flip up when it is charged with a negative electric field, and the black substance which is positively charged. It microcapsule appears white, and the reverse is true when the fields are reversed. In this way, the text can be illustrated in black and white.

Development continued so that the display has remained, even after the power supply has been cut, and E Ink Corporation have formed a partnership with Phillips, who announced that the first E-ink screen should be available early 2003. Later, on 1 June 2009, E Ink Corporation has agreed to be purchased by Prime View International for 215 million million.

Technology has led to development of the eReader is designed to read e-books produced using E-ink technology such as the iLiad, Sony Reader, the Plastic Logic reader and the Amazon Kindle. Technology has also been incorporated into the cell phone displays, the first being the Motorola F3.

However, it was when Oprah got involved, and declared the Amazon Kindle her favorite electronic book reader that eReaders really sympathized. Amazon shelves quickly emptied and others came on the scene, such as Sony with their 6 PRS screen “-505, also using e-Ink screen. The first color ebook reader in the world was FLEPia Fujitsu Available from April, 2009.

This machine offers an 8 “touch screen with capacity of 260,000 colors, Bluetooth wireless technology and Wi-Fi, and also offers a mini USB port. It also provides an onscreen keyboard, missing from the Kindle, and an SD card reader than can be used to store the books purchased by Papylus, book online store.

Another new development in 2009 was Amazon’s Kindle 2, offering a 16-tone gray screen E-Ink. Dutch company Endless Ideas joined the club with the BeBook, and although a little low-end appearance compared to some electronic books, it nevertheless offers multiple fonts and three zoom lenses, while weighing 220 grams featherweight (7.8 ounces).

While the future holds for ebook readers? Much of this depends the future of reading itself, and according to Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, “It does not matter good or bad the product is, the fact is that people no longer read. Forty percent of the U.S. read one book or less last year. “

It is unlikely that people will stop reading altogether, of course, and those who read, many still prefer the regular book with its look and feel. However, the use of electronic book readers could thrive in business and education as information is disseminated electronically, and these devices practical notebook can be used anywhere, especially with wireless Internet connections.

Color will certainly grow, and the price of $ 1000 FLEPia Fujitsu and its successors will fall as competition heats up. However, perhaps the future does not lie in eReaders in itself, but in the technology of E-Ink and E-paper in general. People prefer mobile devices, and they do not want to use multiple devices with multiple uses. The development of netbook of notebook could provide a clue to the future of the eBook readers.

The netbook is in fact a small laptop, and such a device was intended to be the main internet connection device within 10 years. There is no reason why the netbook can not perform the combined functions of the laptop, Blackberry and eReader, using E-Ink technology. A netbook with a color touchscreen E-Ink and paper technology, hidden pull-out keyboard or a folding (or perhaps even speech recognition) and with video, audio and cell phone capability could be the currency of the future that will place all other hand portable devices.

Who knows, but one thing is certain. Nothing stands still, and the Kindle and FLEPia beasts of this world be totally different next year, let alone in ten years. E-Ink is mature, and where it goes from here no one can predict, although the future of eReaders is probably a fusion of several technologies currently solo and electronics.

Marco Gustafsson the author of articles on digital book readers, e-books and electronic technology inc. Visit Digital Book Readers find more information and to discover a new dimension of reading.

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