Sep 14, 2009

E-books catching on with readers

by CNN,

Paul Jessup is an avid reader who is increasingly turning to e-books to feed his love of the written form. It's not just ease of use that draws Jessup to books in a digital form, it's the potential e-books represent.

"It's much better for looking things up, since any e-reader's search function is 10 times better than flipping and looking and searching on my own" in a printed book, said Jessup, an Erie, Pennsylvania-based writer.

He is one of a growing number of bibliophiles, spurred by new reading technologies like Amazon's Kindle, who are gravitating to the digital realm.

Key developments in displays are improving e-book reading devices, whether it be E Ink's displays in products like the Sony Reader and the Kindle, or the easy on the eyes organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens being used in netbook computers and smartphones. Up-and-coming technology promises to enhance e-book reading even further.

Low-power, reflective e-paper displays, which can be read in direct sunlight, are expected to hit the market in the next year from companies like Prime View International and Plastic Logic, said Nick Colaneri, director of the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.

"At first these will be flat and largely indistinguishable from the displays in devices like Amazon's Kindle," Colaneri said. "But the availability of a new feature like mechanical flexibility always stimulates the creative energies of designers."

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