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D7 Demos: Immersion and Plastic Logic

An electronic book and touchscreen keyboard with force feedback were among the tech demos during Day 1 of D: All Things Digital.

Plastic Logic e-reader
Plastic Logic
Plastic Logic e-reader
Plastic Logic envisions its e-reader simplifying life for students. Plastic Logic

CARLSBAD, Calif.--In between the big name CEOs speaking at D: All Things Digital, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg also have a few tech companies on stage to show their wares.

A short while ago, electronic book maker Plastic Logic showed off the user interface of its touch-screen reader, which is due out early next year. The interface seemed simple, although the page turns on the prototype seemed interminable.

The company wouldn't reveal pricing, but did say that the device will have both Wi-Fi and 3G wireless, though it did not specify the carrier. As for color screens, they said they have it working in their labs, but it won't be a next year kind of thing.

Currently, the CTO of force feedback specialist Immersion is showing a couple new technologies, including a prototype touchscreen keyboard. When a user presses a key on the soft keyboard they not only see and hear which key they have pressed but can feel it as well.

"It is a very natural experience," said Immersion CTO Cristophe Ramstein. "Sounds are not as profound as touch to give you this feel."

The second demo was what the company is calling "hapticons," essentially adding feel to an electronic message. He sent a love note to Mossberg, with his screen pulsing to a beating heart.

Plastic Logic e-reader
Plastic Logic demoed its new e-reader at the D: All Things Digital conference Wednesday. Dan Farber/CNET