Fujitsu trials colour e-ink reader

The present generation of e-readers sport black and white screens, most of them using the MIT Media Labs-developed E-Ink technology. But an ebook reader from Fujitsu that’s being trialled in a Tokyo restaurant goes a step further, with its larger, magazine-size screen displaying its content in colour.

The device uses Fujitsu’s patented FLEPia screen technology and the e-reader used in the Tokyo restaurant trial is an attractive, slim device with wireless connectivity, USB and SD memory card expansion, and a touch screen. In this respect, it’s similar to the Plastic Logic device set for release later this year, only the Fujitsu already displays in colour.

The larger format and colour display lends itself to a wide range of content, including newspapers, advertisements, and information such as weather reports and train timetables.

One problem with the early generation, identified in the YouTube clip below, is that it’s a bit slow, even compared to other E-Ink devices.

YouTube Video: Fujitsu FLEPia (2009 revised model?) experimental demo…

Still, Fujitsu looks like it might have the jump on the E-Ink system which is currently only available in black and white. E-Ink CEO Russ Wilcox told the Tools of Change conference in New York earlier this month that the first colour version of E-Ink screens would appear 2010, describing their colour depth as “more pastel” initially with continuing improvements in colour depth as successive generations were rolled out.

For more about the Fujitsu e-reader, see this FastCompany report: Forget Kindle 2: Fujitsu’s E-Reader Screen is Bigger, and It’s in Color

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