Bridgestone to Break Open E-paper Market

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Another day, another e-reader. Seriously at some stage in the very near future these things are going to come free with your Corn Flakes. Anyway, Taiwan-based Delta Electronics are set to begin marketing a new 13.1-inch color touchscreen e-reader and an 8.1-inch monochrome touchscreen device with a release date for both said to be around the June mark. Using e-paper technology from Bridgestone (yep, the tyre guys), this move from Delta will have the knock-on effect of heating up the e-paper competition between Bridgestone and current market leaders E-ink.

Expect an e-reader to fall into that bowl soon.

Back to the product though and ComputerWorld notes that “The new colour e-reader should show up alongside a number of new devices using colour e-paper screens, as the e-reader market transitions away from monochrome. Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, for example, uses a monochrome six-inch e-paper screen by E-ink Corporation, with a smaller 3.5-inch color LCD screen lower down. The Delta device uses colour e-paper and does not have an LCD screen.”

Hui Lee, director of the e-Paper business program at Delta revealed that both new devices will offer note-taking capability, and 3G or Wi-Fi wireless technology can be added if a partner wants such technologies aboard. In a demonstration of the upcoming releases’ capability, Lee used a stylus to manipulate the 13.1-inch color screen, which had a “speedy refresh rate – much faster than e-readers on the market, which often take a pause before changing pages”.

E-ink products currently dominate the e-paper market, being used in Amazon’s Kindle devices and Sony’s Reader but Bridgestone seem pretty determined to change all that and have had good reports on their progress so far. Indeed, the aforementioned speedy refresh rate is one reason Lee believes Bridgestone’s color e-paper technology offers an advantage for multimedia content.

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