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Sony LIBRIé: the first e-Book on electronic paper

For the last several years we´ve been watching the development of the so-called "electronic paper", being a high-clarity monochrome display to become a foundation for comfortable and inexpensive "electronic papers", etc. So, it´s finally happened: Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation and E Ink Corporation announced the first e-Book released by Sony under the new LIBRIé brand. The novelty is to go on sale in Japan late this April.

The new Sony LIBRIe EBPR-1000EP e-Book bases on Philips´ Electronic Paper Display that, in its turn, utilizes E Ink´s technology. The primary goal was to achieve equal comfort for reading under the bright sunlight and in a dim room, and also achieve the maximum similarity with a usual paper. The image looks like it was printed on a b/w printer at about 170 ppi. As the display requires power only to change pages, the developers claim 4xAAA batteries will work to change up to 10,000 pages!

As for other LIBRIé EBPR-1000EP features, it can store up to 500 books of average size on a 512MB Memory Stick PRO card. The device supports Sony´s BBeB (BroadBand eBook) format and utilizes OpenMG copyright security.

LIBRIe EBPR-1000EP features SXGA (800x600) 4-tone grayscale (for better font smoothing) and 5-stage brightness controls. The e-Book also features 10MB memory, keyboard, Memory Stick PRO slot, voice recorder, speaker, and headphones output (for use with a voice recorder), USB2.0 interface. Sized 190x126x13mm, it weighs 190g.

In Japan it will cost about ¥40,000 ($365). Besides, the sales will lead to content providing services. In Japan the content provider will be Timebook Town. At that, the monthly fee will be ¥210 ($1.9), two-month fee — ¥315 ($2.85). The downloaded BBeB files will be available for reading only on LIBRIé.

No information is disclosed when such devices and services will be available outside Japan. Besides, Sony´s extremely proprietary data format seems suspicious. Well, let´s wait and see in which direction these technologies will be developed.

Source: PC Watch

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