Since the “foldable display” trend has started in the smartphone industry, we have seen an array of devices with foldable displays and different designs. We have seen companies like Samsung, Motorola, Huawei with their iteration of foldable smartphones and now it is rumored that Google is also joining the team. However, the idea of a folding e-reader has not been explored so far.
The R&D team of E Ink Corporation has created a prototype of an e-reader with a folding display. Now, if you don’t know about E Ink Corporation, it is the company that pioneered “e-paper” technology, which uses most of the current e-readers in the market.
Now, Taiwan-based display makers have been working on foldable e-readers for quite some time. According to reports, the company’s R&D team developed an initial prototype of a foldable e-reader in June this year. Fast forward two months, the company has developed an almost fully working prototype of a folding e-reader.
The Foldable Note-Taking E-Reader
The first prototype of the device was reportedly just a model and not a housing one. However, this new version actually has a housing with 5 functional buttons, a new and much more efficient hinge design, and an almost functional folding display.
The device also has two “light bars” inside the fold. These are meant to illuminate the screen in dark environments as the company could not add LEDs inside the bezel due to “logistic difficulties”.
Now, by coming to the device’s features, users can use this foldable e-reader as a kindle-like device to read and also use a stylus to take notes. The 10.3-inch display provides a large screen real estate for demonetization. When not in use, the tablet-shaped device folds to become a compact device, like any other foldable device.
Is a hitch
Now, personally speaking, although the idea of a folding e-reader is quite attractive, there are a lot of developments that need to be done in the field.
Looking at the prototype device, the first thing I notice is that the bezels are a bit uneven, and the UI is very cluny at the moment. Furthermore, for e-readers with note-taking capabilities, there is a problem of low latency that becomes more complex with foldable displays.
However, it seems that the team at E Ink is working hard and has made fairly good progress in just two months. And with each passing day, I am sure they will work hard to overcome the current bottlenecks and improve the device further.