As you probably know, bistable or passive displays like the E-Ink ones in e-readers focus on battery life and readability rather than color and interactivity. The latest devices have been optimized for fast page refreshes and touch operation, but generally you’re still waiting a half a second or so for the screen to flip over to the next page, menu, or what have you.
Bear in mind this is strictly a hack and not a full-on release or commercially developed product. Most people wouldn’t want to use the device in this state: it’s not consistent in how fast it responds, there are graphical glitches, and it probably drains the battery like crazy. But the fact is they’ve got a passive display refreshing ~15-20 times per second and responding to touches instantly like a normal tablet.
The possibilities for this generation of readers are limited: few people are going to install a hack like this, and even if they did, not much content is really designed to be consumed this way. Pages are a natural way to read books, and scrolling constantly is kind of a pain. But it’s amazing to see these displays, usually so slow and static, being used so actively. Here’s hoping the next displays from E-Ink (or Bridgestone, or whoever) are capable of even more. Despite what people might say, the passive display still has a lot of potential to grow and evolve.
[via The Digital Reader]