Bookstore chain Selexyz will be the first bookstore in the Netherlands with the sales of the digital book reader, the iLiad. The bookstore group Netherlands (BGN), of which the Selexyz stores are part, will step into the sales of digital books, a totally new concept for the Dutch book market. The iLiad will make it possible for the reader to download and read all electronic content on a readable display that reads just like from paper. The iLiad is developed by the Philips spin-off iRex Technologies BV.
iRex have already teamed up with the leading French newspaper in electronic newspaper publishing Les Echos, which was recently the first in the world to introduce a daily electronic newspaper. Its e-paper edition includes whole articles just like in the printed version, but unlike the traditional medium, those with the iLiad, STAReBOOK and Amazon's Kindle reader will receive constant updates of the day's hottest stories and will actually be able to read the 6:00am print edition at 9:00pm the night prior. Notably, the newfangled Les Echos edition will cost a stiff €365 ($506) per year if you provide your own reader.
Thanks to the innovative electronic paper display technology the book industry is next. The iLiad will enable the reader to read digital content as if printed on regular paper, without compromising the reading comfort, like unwanted light reflection. Daylight or a simple reading light is already sufficient to offer perfect readability.
The e-reader costs €649. Selexyz will provide the first devices with the latest book from Max Westerman, "In alle staten," via the website of the bookstore chain - over 100 titles are available as free downloads. In addition over 49,000 commercial titles are already available via Mobipocket, the e-book format from Amazon. The portable reader has a built in WiFi module that allows you to download updates and new content wirelessly. At anytime, anywhere, it is now possible to receive and read digital content.
The iLiad features an electronic paper display which is a significant improvement over CRT and LCD technology with regards to reading and writing. Instead of rows of glowing cells, e-Ink® microcapsules actually appear as either black or white pixels depending on a positive or negative charge determined by the content. All the pixels together create an image. The result is a reading experience that's similar to paper - high contrast high resolution, viewable in direct sunlight and at a nearly 180-degree angle, with no power required to maintain the image. It features 16 levels of grey where the industry standard is 4 levels of grey.
In contrast to CRT and LCD displays, the electronic paper display projects a stable image which results in less strain on the eyes; however this also means that the electronic paper display technology has a slower refresh rate and is not suited for video applications.
Thanks to the EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) technology there is no need for any cable or built-in battery-based power supply at all. Upon removal of the Stylus from the socket, the sensor board surface will generate a magnetic field, the Stylus' resonant circuit then makes use of this energy to return a magnetic signal to the sensor board surface. By repeating this movement, the board detects information on the pen's coordinate position and angle, as well as on its general operating condition like speed and motion.
The result is the only writable electronic paper display that is commercially available, enabling a whole range of new features like annotating, writing and an advanced user interface - unlike a paper book the reader can transfer the text with the annotations to his PC or forward and share them with friends and colleagues.
The iRex iLiad e-reader will be available at the Dutch bookstore Selexyz shortly
To find out more about electronic readers attend Printed Electronics USA on 12-15 November 2007.