The Times: Color E-Readers, Somehow, Inevitable

In a news analysis piece this weekend about e-reader technology, The New York Times examined the new wave of e-readers featuring color displays that makes their onset seem inevitable, even if their application is currently inscrutable.

The article cites two minor e-readers with such technology that will be out before the holidays and notes one new innovation that may help the development of color e-readers. Competition and the iPad “have forced e-book reader manufacturers to innovate,” said one analyst, even though this innovation feels remarkably similar to the progression of computer, television and mp3 player technology.

But apart from a line at the end talking about how users don’t even want this feature, there’s no mention of how color would even be implemented in e-books. Not that that’s The Times‘ fault.

We’re forced to recall how the low-power black and white display was one of the main selling points of the first Kindle. From the Newsweek cover story when the device launched, not three years ago:

A reading device must be sharp and durable, Bezos says, and with the use of E Ink, a breakthrough technology of several years ago that mimes the clarity of a printed book, the Kindle’s six-inch screen posts readable pages. The battery has to last for a while, he adds, since there’s nothing sadder than a book you can’t read because of electile dysfunction.

Long story short: people don’t want it, it’ll make the device worse and nobody knows how you’d use it.  Also? Why are there no quotation marks around that pun, Newsweek?

The Times: Color E-Readers, Somehow, Inevitable