E Ink, the e-paper specialists behind the displays used in Amazon's Kindle ebook reader, Sony's Reader, the keyboard of the Samsung Alias 2 cellphone and various other devices, has been acquired by Prime View International (PVI). The deal, which valued E Ink at $215m, sees the e-paper IP and technology specialists now combined with the manufacturers of the panels themselves.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has suggested that a color Kindle will not reach the market for "multiple years". Speaking at the company's annual shareholder's meeting this week, Bezos told investors that he has "seen the color displays in the laboratory" but that they are "not ready for prime time". The CEO also suggested that sales figures of the Kindle ebook reader will never be officially released.
Pixel Qi have finally demonstrated their clever 3Qi screen, which mixes together indoor and outdoor readability together with an e-paper mode. The same panel is used in both halves of this picture: on the left, it's set to full color saturation with its backlight on, while on the right the backlight is off and the panel is in e-paper mode. The latter will be incredibly power-frugal, as e-paper only draws power when changing the display, not to maintain an image.
After the cut, outdoor readability demonstrated
Plastic Logic brought along their latest e-reader prototype to the D7 conference, and they've spilled a few more details ahead of the E Ink slate's 2010 launch. The touchscreen device now has an on-screen QWERTY keyboard and a pop-up toolbar with navigation options; there's also confirmed WiFi and 3G data.
Video demo after the cut
It's been almost 18 months since Phosphor launched their first E Ink watch, and since then the technology has grown in public awareness - thanks in no small part by the Amazon Kindle - to the point where people might actually know what you're talking about when you gesture wildly at your new watch. Phosphor have returned with two fresh models, the Digital Hour (left) and Calendar (right).
The BeBook Mini 5-inch ebook reader has been caught on video in an interview with the company's CEO, together with the BeBook 2. As well as the smaller E Ink device, the 3G connectivity in the upcoming BeBook 2 was discussed; the company is apparently in negotiations with European carriers, and is expecting to offer the device in France and Germany with inclusive 3G connectivity (as with the Amazon Kindle in the US).
Video after the cut
Verizon Wireless have launched the Samsung Alias 2, the distinctive dual-hinged clamshell with an E Ink QWERTY keyboard. Available now priced at $79.99 after an $50 online discount, the Alias 2 has a 2.6-inch QVGA display, 2-megapixel camera and Bluetooth, including support for the stereo headset profile.
We've had some much-anticipated and long-awaited gadgets land at SlashGear this week, so we've gone overboard with unboxing videos and hands-on galleries. The Verizon MiFi 2200 only had its official announcement earlier this week, but we've been waiting for the Novatel EVDO-hotspot for so long you must forgive us some excitement. Meanwhile the Vodafone HTC Magic has the honor of being only the second Android phone to the market, while the Tonium Pacemaker manages to offer something unique in a sea of PMPs.
Bad news for anybody hoping for PVI's color e-paper before the end of 2009, as the company has pushed back the launch until 2010 having encountered "barriers to achieving satisfactory results". To make up for the disappointment, however, PVI have tipped a larger ebook reader from Sony later in 2009, to compete with the recently-announced Amazon Kindle DX.