Monday, July 30, 2007

Bookeen: new ebook reader

Bookeen announces its new Generation 3 Cybook, based on the latest groundbreaking Vizplex™ epaper technology from E Ink, as well as an agreement with Mobipocket, an Amazon company, to license and distribute the Mobipocket™ leading ebook format on the Cybook.

Based on the latest groundbreaking Vizplex™ epaper technology from E Ink, this ebook reading device offers an impressive 6" screen showing off a 166 dpi resolution.

Bookeen's new product looks stunningly thin: it is the size of a paperback, the thickness of a magazine, for a weight of only 6.1 ounces (174 g). It boasts an impressive battery life of 8,000 page flips, allowing for an average reading time of 1 month without recharging. The device is compatible with all USB enabled computers, independently from the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux...) and also offers an SD slot for virtually unlimited library storage space.

Concerning content availability, Bookeen also announces an agreement with Mobipocket, an Amazon company, to license and distribute the Mobipocket™ leading ebook format on the Cybook. The Mobipocket™ format offers access to a vast amount of copyrighted books ranging from bestselling Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" to the latest Hillary Clinton biography. There are currently about 50,000 titles from the world's leading publishers available from dozens of online ebook stores.

Following its original open and multi-format strategy, Bookeen offers a true freedom of use regarding supported documents formats. Cybook owners are free to read personal and public domain content. "On the Cybook, you don't need to convert your files to an exotic format or upload them to any proprietary web site. You simply transfer your files directly to the device and read them natively," said Laurent Picard, co-founder of Bookeen.

The Cybook Gen3 has entered production and will be directly available next September from Bookeen online web store at, in different packs starting at $350. It will be the first product to include the new E Ink Vizplex™ technology, offering the brightest and fastest switching epaper display of the market.

"The screen is truly like a sheet of paper, it can be viewed from nearly any angle and in a wide range of lighting conditions, including direct sunlight," said Michael Dahan, co-manager of Bookeen. "The ebook industry will clearly reach another stage with the new Cybook." Laurent Picard added: "Our ongoing partnership with Mobipocket is a great opportunity to bring their tremendous digital content to a new category of customers and to offer the most competitive device to the end user."

To learn more about Bookeen and the Cybook, visit

About Bookeen
Bookeen is a privately held company -- based in Paris, France -- founded in 2003 by Michaël Dahan and Laurent Picard. Bookeen team pioneered the e-book industry as soon as 1998, designing and releasing the first commercial e-book device in Europe in 2000. From 2003 to 2006, Bookeen shipped the previous generation Cybook to over 40 countries. Both a hardware and software technology innovator, Bookeen has a comprehensive knowledge of the electronic publishing industry and is a global provider of digital content solutions.

Web site:


4.7" x 7.4" x 0.3"
118 x 188 x 8.5 mm
6.13 ounces -174 g
battery included
6" E Ink® Vizplex screen
[4.8"x3.6"- 122mmx91mm]
600x800 pixels, 166 dpi
B&W, 4 gray-scale
Daylight readable
No backlight
Portrait and landscape mode
buttons "ON/OFF", "Up ", "Down", "Right ", "Left", "Enter ", "Cancel", "Menu", "Music".
Power Supply:
Universal AC 100~240V, DC 5V 700mA
Plugs: Euro 2Pin, UK 3Pin, US 2 Pin
Operating system:
Linux 2.4.18
Software suite:
Bookeen® Multi-format ebook reader
Supported image format: Jpeg, GIF, PNG
Supported sound format: MP3

2.5mm stereo headphone plug
SD Card slot
Dark brown leather case (optional)
Certification & Regulation:
Shiny black

Rechargeable built-in Li-Polymer battery (800mAh)
8000 page flips battery life
Samsung® S3C2410 ARM920T 200MHz
ROM memory:
8 MB
RAM memory:
16 MB
Storage memory:
64 MB Data Flash
USB Client (v2.0) - Mini USB B connector

In the box:
Cybook ebook reading device
USB cable
User's guide
Charger (Deluxe version)
Leather case (Deluxe version)
1GB SD card (Deluxe version)


Friday, July 20, 2007

Remembering the first anouncements of Eink

I found this story at The NY Times, dated November 30, 2000. Interesting thing to look back and see how much the technology has grown since then:

Flexible Displays for Electronic Ink

Published: November 30, 2000

SCIENTISTS in Cambridge, Mass., have demonstrated what they say is the world's first flexible display using electronic ink, bringing engineers one step closer to creating a changeable display screen that is nearly as portable, lightweight and easy to read as paper.

''It is about the stiffness of a mouse pad,'' said Paul Drzaic, director of display technology for E Ink, a start-up company working on flexible display technology.

The prototype, which was unveiled last week and can be viewed at, looks about as thick as a mouse pad, too, mostly because of flexible padding added to prevent the prototype from being ripped accidentally,. But E Ink executives have said that the product could eventually be as thin as four sheets of paper.

The prototype was created as part of a joint project between E Ink, which was founded by physicists from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Lucent Technologies, which has created flexible plastic circuits. E Ink's core technology consists of an ink that responds to electric charges, enabling words or images to be displayed on a relatively thin screen without the need for a conventional cathode-ray tube monitor or liquid crystal display screen.

Until recently, the ink was applied to rigid boards because the technology relied on brittle silicon chips to regulate the electric charges. In fact, E Ink's first product, called Immedia, looks a lot like a billboard, several examples of which are hanging in retail shops to deliver changing messages to passers-by.

Now, with the help of Lucent's circuitry, the company is working to produce bendable displays that can respond to electronic signals and still be folded or rolled. Some technologists have envisioned that this technology could lead to something like an always up-to-date newspaper that displays information carried over the wireless Internet.

In addition to their flexibility, the plastic circuits designed by Lucent are relatively inexpensive, Dr. Drzaic said. While silicon chips require expensive fabrication factories, the plastic circuits are printed, or stamped, onto a plastic substrate, a technique that Lucent and E Ink say can be done en masse at a relatively low cost. The two companies are looking for a manufacturer to develop the technology.

The one drawback to the plastic chips, Dr. Drzaic said, is that they cannot handle as much current as silicon, which means that it is unlikely they could be used in anything as power-hungry as a personal computer any time soon.

''But,'' Dr. Drzaic said, ''the E Ink material does not need that much current.'' It merely responds to simple electric charges, instead of complex commands. ''In that sense,'' he said, ''plastic circuits and electronic ink are a perfect match.''

But silicon-based technology still plays a role. Electronic ink will always need traditional chips to handle the more complex tasks of taking orders from computers, said E Ink's chief executive, Jim Iuliano. He said he envisions the technology taking a hybrid form, like a book with a rigid spine attached to pages that are thin and flexible enough to roll up.

Mr. Iuliano said he has also heard from at least one watch manufacturer who is interested in using the flexible displays on the wristbands of high-tech watches.

''It's a natural for these kinds of applications,'' he said.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eink Watch Giveaway

Engadget is giving away a custom, limited edition, watch made by E Ink

As stated "E Ink, the company that developed that whole electronic ink / electrophoretic display thing, had just nine custom watches hand-built -- eight will be worn on the wrists of members of the company's board, and the last one will be given away here on Engadget! The watch itself is an analogue timepiece with a monochrome digital face that shows date, time, and numbers for the hands in white on black or black on white. Yes, the watch even comes with a certificate of authenticity."

To enter the giveaway you need to post a comment at the engadget post.

Good luck!

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