Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hybrid displays

I have long had a feeling that eventually and maybe pretty soon, we will have displays which combine the advantages of LCD (color, clarity, speed) with those of e-ink (less eye-stress, better outdoors, longer battery life). There really wouldn't be any need to buy and carry two devices if the various strengths can be combined in one.

It seems progress is made, though it's unclear how far this is from market-mature.

Thanks to The Kindle Chronicles (and thanks for the testimonial, Len!). Len wonders if this kind of technology will end up being another nail in the coffin of long-form reading. Well... first of all, like Len says, it's gonna happen, so we'll have to deal with it somehow. Second, if one needs one's books to be on a separate, "dumb" device in order not to be distracted by Angry Avians and Tweets (angry or not), then I'd consider the problem being in the reader rather than the device.

And by the way, if enough people have that problem, there will probably still be some devices made which are only ereaders, not multi-purpose devices.
The question is of course if the market is big enough. Note for example that there has never been a successful "typewriter" type laptop, despite many writers wanting one. And that's probably because the number of people who'd want such a limited device is too small.
(The Alphasmart Neo by the way is very close, you can only write on it, not even format anything, and the keyboard is great, better than on any notebook I've tried. But to my taste, it's hobbled by a too-low-contrast display, like the Kindle was until last year.)

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