Next Christmas we could all be sending our Christmas cards on ePaper, since iRex is going to have a reader available by April.
If at this moment you are thinking, “Hogwash! Who is this dodgy iRex company?” let me put your mind at rest by telling you that it is in fact a spin off of electronics giant Philips, so we’re not talking pie in the sky here. What it has come up with an electronic reader that combines an ePaper display with wireless networking and touch screen technology.
The ER 0100, also nicknamed The Illiad (How Homer of them), has an 8.1in, 1024 x 768 native resolution, 16 shade grey-scale display which claims to be equally readable outside or indoors. The whole thing measures 216 x 155mm and is just 16mm wide and weighs 390g, so little more than your average book, if a little less pocket friendly.
A 400MHz Intel X-Scale processor is at its beating heart, backed up by 64MB RAM and 224MB of internal flash memory for storing content (equivalent to one month of newspapers or 30 books, apparently). USB, CF type II and SD card slots are fitted to boost this further. Power consumption is minimal, with the 0100 lasting in excess of a week based on usage of three hours per day and Pdf, Txt and Xhtml formats are supported.
Spicing things up a little (but no doubt adversely effecting battery life) are 802.11b connectivity, a 10/100 Ethernet slot and a 3.5mm audio jack since the 0100 can also play mp3s with further audio formats to be added in the near future.
Sadly, we don’t yet have pricing for the 0100, but with prototypes up and running now and a confirmed release date of April it looks like the hype that is ePaper will soon be with us. Though I bet it is rubbish for wrapping fish n chips…