Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Newspapers want working devices, less hype

(Ifra press release) Darmstadt/Tokyo, 23 August 2006 – Ifra’s eNews 2008 initiative, set up to help publishers create business in the coming e-reading world, is nearing the end of its first year. The project now has 27 member companies; 23 publishers and four technology suppliers, from 11 European countries, Japan and the USA. This week, the eNews 2008 member companies are in the Japanese capital in order to meet, and visit the leading mobile and e-reading technology developers.

Since the launch of eNews, and particularly in the past six months, the interest in e-reader technology and applications has exploded in international media – from specialised trade magazines to big national dailies. While this has provided the Ifra initiative with a lot of welcome coverage, not all the articles published have been as well researched and founded in reality as project leader Dr Stig Nordqvist might have hoped: “E-readers have been hyped quite a lot in the press this past spring. In the last year we have seen a promising development in e-paper displays, black and white with rich contrast, good improvements in speed in for example the E Ink v2.5\2.6 and Bridgestone QRP technology. We have also seen colour filter solutions from interesting new alternatives, for example Fujitsu. Despite all this, I still think that the e-reader devices so far are disappointing.”

During the visit to Tokyo, Mr Kenichi Shiraishi of Sony talked to the eNews 2008 participants about the eBook market, stating that the reason the e-reading market is still so small is that “there is no good device on the market yet, optimised for reading. And there is no good content management system either.” Commented Meredith Artley of the International Herald Tribune: “The more you [the technology developers] can focus on news at this point, the more friends you will make in the publishing industry. The more options and flexibility in terms of format, the more interesting it is going to be to sum up and cooperate with you in this context.”

The publishers taking part in the eNews 2008 initiative are working actively to prepare themselves to take advantage of the new e-reader medium, when it becomes reality. However, to date the technology needed to launch services to readers is not there, despite promises from suppliers such as iRex Technologies, an eNews member, which was due to launch its iLiad e-reader in April. The devices are now on the market, but do not work satisfactorily. Dr Nordqvist says: “We have had serious problems with the earliest release of the iLiad. The speed is too slow to be acceptable, and so far this is not really a consumer’s product. Worse than the speed is the user interface, which I find illogical.”

In addition to the two days in Tokyo spent meeting with and hearing presentations from the leading e-reading technology developers and the two leading Japanese mobile operators, KDDI and NTT DoCoMo, during their week in the Japanese capital the eNews 2008 members will spend three days in a seminar, including workshops and speakers, among them representatives of the Japanese mobile success story – from content providers to mobile payment companies. Dr Stig Nordqvist adds: “When the technology falls into place, whether the devices become more like mobile phones, tablet-PCs or like a future version of the iLiad, i.e. an e-reading device, we strongly believe that there is a huge consumer market for e-reading content.”

The eNews 2008 project will run for another two years, during which time activities will include further seminars, study tours and commissioning of consumer research.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jinke V2 Eink device video

Video of a demo version of the Jinke eink device, by THJahar available at YouTube

You can check more about the device at Jinke or see related stories here at PaperGadgets weblog: Jinke New eBook Device

Dimensions: 194mm(L)*133.6mm(W)*13.4mm(H)
Main Display: ePaper (Eink technology) 6 Inch 800*600 pixel 4 greyscale
Slave Display: STN 254*96 Pixel
Storage: 64MB Nand Flash ,SD/MMC card(Support 1GB capability )
Weight: 290g(Include battery)
Battery: Li-ION 760mAH
Input: Key, Touch Panel (only slave display)
I/O: USB1.1
Working Temperature: 0¡æ¡«40¡æ
Keeping Temperature: -20¡æ¡«55¡æ
Function: MP3 Player
Format Support: PDF Viewer, WOLF Viewer(WOLF File Format:convert from txt,htm,DOC ,PDF,Excel,PPT,Images,mp3 ets),HTML Viewer,TXT Viewer
Hardware: CPU:Sumsang Arm 9 200Mhz, SDRAM : 32M Bytes,SD(MMC)IO
Software: LINUX OS

Interesting FAQ about the Jinke V2
Can V8 and V2 support OEB format?
A:V8 can't support OEB format. We will think about supporting OEB format in next generation of V2.

What's the price of V8 and V2?
A:The suggested retail price of V8 is 299 USD. V2 is 349 USD.

When will the V8 and V2 be released?
A:V8 has been sold. The consumers of Chinese Mainland can buy it from the agency or order it online. The samples of V2 will be available by the end of June of 2006.

How to buy V2?
A:You can order it online or buy it from the agents.

Where can I buy V8 and V2?
A:You can order V8 from agencys in China or online order.
V2 focuses on European and American markets, after it releasing, we will offer a global agent list to the consumers.

Do V2 and V8 support RTF, DOC, PPT, and XLS files?
A:Wolf printer is software, which can convert RTF, DOC, PPT, and XLS into WOLF format. Then these files can be read in V product. Wolf printer will be offered with the V product.

Can V model work while charging? And Can it be long time charged?
A:V model can work while charge and it can be long time charged. Battery fully charged need three(3)hours.

What kind of battery does V model adopt? How long the battery last after charging?
A:V model adopts rechargeable battery. It can support the power for turning not less than 8000 pages; music playing for up to 10 hours.

Can V2/V8 play music while an ebook reading?
A:Yes, V2/V8 can play music while you are reading an eBook.(except audio eBook).

Monday, October 23, 2006

E-reader market heating up

According to "ePage Insights", an AFAICS Research Newsletter, in the US "sales of the Sony Reader got off to flying start with most retailers selling out within a few days. An initial batch of 10,000 units of the new reader was delivered to Sony US in September and these went on sale in around 750 shops across the US as well as via online outlets such as Amazon and of course Sony’s own online sales operation."

About the devices sold on 300 Borders shop, it says that "these typically sold out of the dozen units they had received within the first two days".

Via ePage Insights Newsletter

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Firm casts new light on reading"

some insight in E-ink business side, from the Boston Herald

"E-Ink, which makes a film that requires little light, is very much responsible for the Sony Reader’s book-like display.

It’s a technology the company said it can extend to newspapers as well. Though E-Ink isn’t responsible for manufacturing products, its film could be used to make highly flexible electronic newspapers, Bischoff said.

“If you read a newspaper in a taxi cab, in a plane, on the beach, wherever you can read a newspaper you can read our devices,” he said.

It’s piqued the interest of some publishers. E-Ink counts Hearst Corp., McClatchy Co. and Vivendi Universal Publishing among its investors.

Kenneth Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media, sits on the company’s board of directors.

Still, Bischoff said the company isn’t out to replace newspapers or books.

“The newspaper is not going to go away. The physical book is not going to go away. But there are certain amounts of your day where you say, ‘Hey, this electronic book is very useful,’ ” he said.

The e-newspaper may still be years in the future. What form customers would prefer is also undetermined.

“At the end of the day, it’s a social issue rather than a technological one,” Bischoff said.

E-Ink isn’t out to save the newspaper industry. It’s out to sell its film, whether the purchaser is interested in digital books, signs or even watches.

“As a business model, we’re not out to sell electronic newspapers to the public,” Bischoff said. “We want to be good at making electronic paper.”

Monday, October 16, 2006

E Ink receives 100th patent on E-Paper

PRES RELEASE: CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- E Ink Corporation, the leading provider of electronic paper display technology, today announced that it has received its 100th utility patent from the United States Patent Office. E Ink has been awarded 24 new U.S. patents so far in 2006, almost double the number it received in 2005.

The company's 100th patent describes important control hardware and software for addressing bistable displays. Bistable displays are able to maintain an image without any battery or external power source. E Ink has a growing family of patents in the area of bistable display operation, including methods to increase lifetime, improve performance and decrease system cost.

E Ink's patent portfolio provides the company with broad protection for its innovative electrophoretic display technology. The company's issued patents cover topics including methods for manufacturing of the electronic ink material, processes for assembling finished displays, and techniques for integrating electronic paper displays in to finished products.

While many of E Ink's patents are focused on electronic paper, many also have broader applicability in fields like organic electronics and flexible semiconductor manufacturing. E Ink has recently been awarded claims on techniques to print semiconductor particle films, pattern organic semiconductors and produce organic dielectric films at low temperatures.

With over 100 additional patent applications pending, E Ink anticipates the pace of new patent issuance to continue to increase. The company has also received and applied for international equivalents of many of its U.S. patents.

Friday, October 13, 2006

SR review on the NYTimes