Is That 500 Books In Your Pocket, Or…

I’d been watching this one since late last month, so it’s a little old, but I thought I’d post it anyway, if you hadn’t seen. Here’s the news from The Register:

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — the real one, not that Douglas Adams novel thingy — just came a step closer. Sony has launched its first electronic book using what it calls “electronic paper”.

Sony ReaderThe problem with reading for extended periods of time on a computer has always been that, well, it’s absolute heck on your eyes, if you hadn’t noticed. All those photons being beamed directly into your baby-blues (or browns, or what have you), combined with very low screen resolutions (the actual dots, or pixels, that make up the letters) has always made the idea of reading something like an entire book or newspaper on a monitor pretty unpleasant.

Different companies have been working on this stuff for a few years now, and this looks like the first consumer-available result. It’s set to premiere this month in Japan, and maybe a little on the pricey side (about $375)…but should be interesting to watch. It’s kind of cool to think about being able to carry a stack of books around electronically the same way we can tote a stack of CDs on digital music players. And for you student-types? How about one “textbook” instead of six, huh?

Here’s the full article at The Register and the press release from E Ink, the company behind the primary display technology. (Check out how this stuff works—pretty amazing!)