Paperback books are soooooo 1990’s! If you haven’t had the chance to read about it yet, you’ve got to see the new Amazon Kindle electronic book reader. This ultra small and thin device looks like an oversized PDA, but packs amazing new technology, which will likely render overstuffed, 30 pound book bags entirely obsolete one day. Can you imagine replacing all your text books with this 10 ounce machine?
The magic behind the Amazon Kindle is a new display technology called “E-Ink” and a built-in wireless cell phone modem. The E-Ink display is unlike any LCD monitor currently on your personal computer, cell phone, or PDA. The E-Ink screen is changes each time you “turn” a page in the book. After the flip, the display remains on but does not draw any power. It is similar to spray painting an image on an etch-a-sketch screen and then erasing and redrawing the next screen when you need to. What is so cool about this technology is that it is super easy to read both indoors and outdoors. The display looks like real ink on a real piece of paper. There is no eye strain or glare that you normally see with a traditional backlit LCD display. On top of that, since the display uses no electricity, once it has painted the screen, the Kindle can last a week or more between battery charges.
The other really cool technology in the Kindle is the built-in cell phone modem. Kindle owners do not need a cell phone nor are there monthly fees for owning a Kindle. Amazon.com pays all the associated cell phone bills associated with your Kindle when you download books to the reader. By using a built-in wireless modem which uses the cell phone network, you never need to hook your Kindle up to a computer or even to a wireless network access point. Wherever you can get a cell phone signal, you can surf the Amazon Kindle bookstore and download new books with a few pushes of a button.
Just imagine where this technology could lead us in the next few years! No heavy math, Spanish, English, or history books to carry around. No forgetting the book you are supposed to read in class that day. Everything can be available at your fingertips, anytime you want it. To top it off, Amazon even provides 100% free access to Wikipedia from your Kindle so you can look up references to subjects, any time you want.