Friday, May 4, 2012

(Updated) Barnes & Noble shipping GlowLight Nook

Barnes & Noble shipping GlowLight Nook, article.

It's an e-ink display. It's not backlit. It's front-lit. From the sides, but still pretty evenly. Quite interesting. And once again, B&N beat Amazon to it, like they did with the color reader and with a touch reader.
The contrast of the screen itself does not seem to have changed from the miserable middle-grey background e-ink always has had so far. But maybe the light helps. In any case, I'm curious. But not available outside the States, of course. I could buy it from the US, but I couldn't buy any books for it, so that'd limit the joy.

I wonder what technology they use to spread the light evenly over the page, from a narrow slit by the edges. I can't really figure that out.

I found a video showing it clearly. It looks very attractive to me.

(Does this video show to you?  If you can't see it, try here and tell me what you get please.)

 I think that maybe my problem with the e-ink screens is less the low contrast, and more the overall darkness of it, it is not one of the brighter things in my field of vision, so it does not attract my attention. Judging from this video, this may make a significant difference in that area.

In any case it's much superior to the little exterior light sources people have had to use, because they give light so uneven that I just couldn't use them (I tried a couple, including Amazon's leather Light case for Kindle 3). Well, they are usable if you really have to, but for me at least they are not pleasant at all.


Stephen A said...

It's a sheet of Acrylic lit from the edge with an LED array. The acrylic is then scored with a set of grooves on the underside of the sheet allowing a little light to leak out. The distribution of the grooves is rather tricky in that you take out a smaller percentage of a larger amount of light at the beginning and a larger percentage of a smaller amount of light at the end. Very similar to the share of interest and principal on a fixed payment mortgage.

Simple in principle but very tricky in practice. (trust me, I've developed commercial units)

ttl said...

The Nook is gooder than the Kindle. There's no doubt about it now. Not that I haven't known it all along.

TC [Girl] said...

Does this video show to you? Just above this sentence?

Yes...I see it, Eo.

Oh, offense but...seeing those screens makes it feel like we went back to the "stone ages" of the old Kindles! I don't get why someone would prefer those screens to the Kindle Fire! I think that screen is just AMAZING and WONDERFUL to read and see in the dark at night!

I don't agree w/TTL, one bit re: his summation re: the Nook being "gooder" than the Kindle. But...of course, everyone has their own preference. :-)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Stephen!
So it's sort of a fresnel lens?
Are the grooves not protected? One would think they would collect dirt or be damaged, in use cases where they'd be exposed, for example in bus stop posters which are backlit by such a sheet.

As you must know, TC, I have a very hard time of the greyness of the e-ink screen, and I'm very puzzled by how many people not only live with it, but *prefer* it. I've rarely seen people really agree with me, though here is one:

He's very refinedly sarcastic about the gray screen.