The real “winner” of the e-book wars is E Ink, the Mass.-based (it was spun off from a project at MIT) company that develops the technology behind the screens of all the top readers, including the Kindle and nook. If you’re holding a Kindle or a nook, congrats, you’re holding the same core technology: E Ink’s display. The company has announced that its next-generation display, named Pearl, will be available in “Q2.”
Pretty sure the second quarter of the year ended yesterday, so I’m going to go ahead and assume that the next new version of the Kindle, nook, etc. will use the new display. My bad: the new Kindle DX has the Pearl display. That’s even better news, yes.
So what’s new with Pearl? E Ink says it has a contrast ratio that’s 50 times greater than the current display, named Vizplex (seen here, Photoshopped for no particular reason other than that it looks neat). Combine that with a whiter display and you’ve got yourself a highly readable display—text “pops,” so to speak. Considering how readable the current E Ink display is (quite readable, that is), this is most welcomed news indeed.
The new display is also more environmentally friendly than the previous display—never mind the sense of cutting down tree after tree to make paper.
Amazon has a knack for releasing new Kindles in the fall, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Pearl make its debut with a new Kindle in the coming months. (Presumably others readers, whenever they’re updated, will make use of Pearl as well.)