updated 07:25 pm EDT, Mon May 2, 2011
E Ink puts video-ready Pearl screen sequel in 2012
E Ink global sales head Sri Peruvemba in an interview Monday both dampened hopes for a sequel to its Pearl e-paper displays while promising a major leap with the next release. He told CNET not to expect any replacement in 2011 but promised much better performance. The next generation could display full-motion video, or at least 24 frames per second.
Peruvemba declined to give timing, though it was implied 2012 was the target. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo are all some of the major e-reader makers that use E Ink screens and would be the most likely to embrace it when ready.
Amazon has ruled out the prospect of a color e-paper reader for the next few years but could use a very fast E Ink screen to get tablet-like features with all the benefits of outdoor reading and long battery life. The company is rumored to be crafting a Samsung-made Android tablet using an LCD as at least a stopgap and possibly as its highest-end reader.
Current Pearl screens, like those in the third-generation Kindle, have been modified in special conditions to run choppy video, but most are still too slow for significant animation and are usually limited to web browsing and music outside of reading.