Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why You Should You Wait before Buying Your Next E-Reader

A decade after the Kindle revolutionized the way we read, CLEARink Displays is poised to (finally) revolutionize the e-reader.  ♦ 
E-readers have been on the market for just over ten years at this point, and they’ve come a long way in that time, from the original 250MB Kindles with only 200 non-illustrated titles to choose from to the modern-day 32GB models with over 6 million titles at your fingertips. However, one key aspect has stayed the same over those years: E-ink, the screen technology that has become the standard for the industry, considered to be the best alternative to, and closest approximation of, having a real book in your hands.
   That is, until the 2017 Society for Information Display’s annual DisplayWeek tradeshow in Los Angeles last November, where the Kindle’s proprietary technology may have finally met its match with the debut of CLEARink, a revolutionary new e-paper display that earned SID’s Best in Show award.
   CLEARink is a new screen technology that claims to have more vivid display than e-ink and use less power while still being able to be used in direct sunlight, making it an obvious challenger to the Kindle. This bold statement would lead people to ask what could possibly make the new technology more vivid than the industry leader—the answer is, CLEARink uses only black pigments on the screen, whereas e-ink has to use white pigments to paint whitespace on the screen. More, it has an 83% reflection rate on its natural white screen, making it twice as reflective as the current e-ink. This means it does a much better job simulating paper while using no extra energy, as the process of only using black pigment leads to the most defined text while conserving the most battery power.

   CLEARink has more to offer than just its black-and-white display, though: it also has the ability to create 4096 colors and display videos at a 30+Hz on the same page as text, a first for an e-paper device. Using these features will use extra battery, of course, but it will still consume 85% less battery than a traditional LCD screen, which at this time is the best device that can do this. The next major breakthrough is the screen itself—e-readers have always been limited in size—the segment leader used in the latest Kindle has only been produced in screens under 8 inches—but that is no longer an issue. CLEARink screens are able to be produced in any size while. This new technology will not only allow for bigger e-readers but will possibly lead to other uses such as billboards and outdoor signs.
   The last big breakthrough is an important one, as it ends the era of cracked screens. CLEARink's screens are bendable, so they will resist cracking and will be able to put into devices with bent screens like new curved TVs and many other devices (and uses) not even yet considered.

Comparison of CLEARink features vs. current e-reader displays.

Which brings us to the final question: should you indeed wait for CLEARink to become the standard before buying your new e-reader? The answer is yes. There are so many advantages to the new technology and zero added cost of production. This does not mean that the new e-reader will not be more expensive—we’ll have to see once the reader actually hits the market— but even if it is, the added value from these revolutionary new features will clearly justify any cost increase . . . and will make it worth the wait.
  • About the Author
    Christian Campisi a junior Engineer Management major at Miami University who hails from Columbus Ohio. While being new to writing, he enjoys every minute of it and hopes to do more in the future. As an engineer, he plans on using these writing skills to compose many technical papers and do some personal writing on the side.

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