Cybook Odyssey E-Reader Shows Arrives With Touchscreen, Web Navigation

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This probably won’t affect the e-reader wars over here in the states much, but I can’t say no to a handsome device like this. And when they put Homer on the screen as well, that’s just icing on the cake. The Cybook Odyssey, from French e-reader maker Bookeen, has a trick or two up its sleeve that I hope our US devices will learn one day.

The Odyssey sports what Bookeen calls the high speed ink system, or HSIS. They describe it vaguely in a comment: Bookeen has long worked to improve the performance of E-Ink screens as part of the hardware (processors …) than “on the software (firmware optimization).” So I’m guessing they’ve basically overclocked a Pearl screen from E-Ink and made it much more quick to refresh. That’s really handy for showing moving images — you can animate page turning and buttons, that sort of thing.

It also makes for a more useful web browsing experience. You can actually move the page around and you don’t have to wait for the sluggish e-ink refresh rate to catch up. It’s not perfect, but it could be handy. There are lots of books you can get via the web on Project Gutenberg and Google Books that would be accessible this way.

The dragging thing isn’t entirely new, of course. You can see me dragging around a PDF on the latest Kobo e-reader here (about 3:30 into the video). The Odyssey’s version looks a bit smoother, and of course it works on the web, not just books.

Anyhow, it’s a nice-looking little device. No pricing yet, but it will be Europe-only.

[via The Digital Reader]