Interesting news from the DemoFall conference held this week in San Diego:
Plastic Logic--a company founded to commercialize electronics built on flexible plastic substrates--demonstrated a prototype e-book reader (not yet named) and announced that it plans to ship this product in the first half of next year. You can read the press release for yourself.
This particular gizmo is very attractive. It uses a large, flexible electronic paper display based on technology from E Ink (the same company that makes the displays for Amazon.com's Kindle and Sony's Reader), but the device overall is remarkably thin and light.
And the whole thing is somewhat flexible, so it won't break if it gets slightly bent in a backpack or briefcase. Flexible doesn't mean invulnerable, but it's a lot better than the brittle glass displays of existing e-book readers.
Check out this video from DEMOfall, in which Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta demonstrates the prototype. I see some minor problems in the prototype's display--some dead lines and odd drawing glitches--but nothing that should interfere with the scheduled launch.
More importantly, even as a prototype, the display's contrast ratio seems to be better than that of the Kindle or Reader, mostly by virtue of the white being whiter--I'd have to make a direct comparison to be sure, though. I also see all of the critical features I want in an e-book reader: good display resolution… Read more