iRex promise color ebook reader in 2011: 3x brighter than rivals

E-reader manufacturer iRex have announced [pdf link] that they intend to have a color, writable ebook reader on the market by 2011.  The device, which is currently unnamed, will use a system of  subtractive color mixing which, according to iRex, results in three times the brightness of existing additive color electrophoretic displays. 

Details on the subtractive e-ink technology are scant, but it is compared to physical printing whereby colors act as filters to absorb portions of white light striking them and reflect back the desired hue.  The additive system, meanwhile, mixes together backlit or illuminated colors to create hues, often requiring filters that can reduce overall quality.

iRex believe that their subtractive e-ink displays will offer print-quality visuals to magazines and other full-color publications, and push them ahead of the crowd.  Meanwhile color e-paper producers have reportedly delayed their launches to 2010, in the face of technical issues.

[via MobileRead Forums]

Press Release:

iRex Technologies Developing a High Quality, Full Color Digital 


Eindhoven, 2 June 2009 ‐ The world's leading provider of e‐reading solutions, Netherlands‐based iRex Technologies (, announced  new progress on development of a next generation of color, writable ultra‐thin digital readers expected to launch mid 2011. This news reaffirms and substantiates  iRex's position as a leading innovator in the digital reading market following their 2008  launch of the  iRex DR1000.  Leading the way for others, the DR1000 was the first commercially available 'writable' digital reader with a 10.2 inch screen. 

Speaking at  the Society  for  Information Display  (SID) conference  in San Antonio, TX  (USA),  iRex's  leading display expert  Alex  Henzen,  confirmed  the  company's  commitment  to  push  the  boundaries  of  electrophoretic  display technology in order to meet consumer demand for competitively priced, high quality digital readers. 

"The ultimate  goal of  an  electronic paper display  is  to mimic  the  appearance of pigment on paper.  This means more  than  just  bright  color,  the  reflection  also  has  to  be  diffuse,"  explained  Henzen.  "iRex's  subtractive  color mixing  technology will allow us  to produce a wide  range of colors  in high  resolution  to deliver magazine‐quality color to our e‐reader customers.

The  current  color  solution  for  electrophoretic  displays  –  those displays  universally  found  in  e‐readers ‐  employ additive  color mixing  techniques  and  filters  that  compromise  the  reading  quality  of  the  display.  The  new  iRex solution will  be  based  on  subtractive  color mixing  similar  to  physical  printing which will  offer  three  times  the brightness of current color prototypes. 

"iRex is in constant dialogue with its customers and partners.  As a result, iRex was the first to recognize the demand for a writable large screen reader allowing full page PDF files and e‐newspapers to retain their original look, feel and layout.  The next step is color," comments Willem Endhoven, VP of marketing and business development at iRex Technologies. "It is our mission to innovate with our partners and support them in delivering their content in the best possible way to their target audience.  A high quality color solution will open the gates for color rich periodicals to publish their content on the electronic paper platform."