bits speculate about possible features for an updated version of the amazon kindle. apparently, the author's imagination has not been restricted by any knowledge about the kindle's technologies or general technological constraints. let's look at the list:
- larger screen, with color: the kindle uses e-ink's 6" vizplex imaging film, and 8" and 9.7" versions are already available. color electronic ink has been demonstrated by fujitsu, but is not yet commercially available.
- better browser: while a better browser definitely would be welcome, the article also mentions more features such as playing video. this is something that is simply not possible on e-ink displays. also, a better browser primarily would have to better take into account the display's limitations, offering excellent support for paged display of content.
- touch screen: the iliad's e-ink display uses wacom penabled technology, which requires a special pen to work. not ideal, but good because it does not place any additional layer (which would compromise display quality) on top of the e-ink layer. however, touch screen technology is only necessary if the whole interaction model is more focused on interacting with the content (creating annotations and sharing them), and not only reading it. this would be a fundamental shift in the device capabilities and design goals.
- advertising: so, this one is asking to please get advertisements playing on my book? ads every time i turn a page? i kind of doubt that people will want this, reading books is one of the activities where a constant assault of ads would destroy the experience. completely.
so much for the next version of the kindle. i don't think many of these things will happen. larger screen maybe, touch screen maybe, better browser hopefully, but probably not (amazon pays the network costs for people browsing, so they have no real incentive to create a good web browsing experience). ads not, i hope.