Re: [ebook-community] pen-based ebook reading?
- Bill Janssen said:
>reading ebooks. Few programs seem to support the kind of pen-based
> I thought I'd ask what people think about the future of pen usage in
reading that many people do on paper, and I'm wondering why...
>I agree, and I think I can point to some specfic reasons why. First, pen
> I'm currently very pessimistic about the future of pen-based input.
and paper is a 'micro-distributed technology'. Paper is the same
everywhere on the page, so it can be cheaply manufactured in bulk. LCDs
and LEDs do not share this feature. LCDs in particular are a combination
of several technologies, and they must be combined and aligned in order to
get the desired results. LEDs (OLEDs in particular) seem more likely to
achieve mass manufacturing capabilities, but even there, every single dot
on the paper is a specific dot in manufacturing.
Touch-screen interaction compounds this issue. To see some problems, see
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/archives/000707.html for an example of
how touchscreens must absolutely be correct, and how they may not work
properly due to user interaction oddities. In this regard, touchscreens
may never achieve the consistency at low cost needed for mass market ebook
The display technology is a tougher problem, but I would suggest looking
at http://www.thefeature.com/article?articleid=101184&ref=3974715 to get
an idea of where the techology could go. Virtual retinal displays,
particular the scanning type, share the same advantages as original black
and white television -- they are mechanically simple, creating their
complexity out of the timing of their signals, not out of an expensive
Of course, it will be rather difficult to integrate a virtual retinal
display with touchscreen operations. A "poke in the eye with a sharp
stick" is closest to being a working model, and I don't think user
acceptance is going to work in its favour.
Finally, separation of the input and output channels often makes handling
accessibility issues much more straightforward. By comparison, note that
fully blind individuals will have some difficulties editing a standard
ink-on-paper document. Solutions -- and small parts of larger solutions --
that have broader use will see a greater push to use and deployment. This
applies for all users - as in the example of a cellphone or PDA with no
touch-screen, but with an optional add-on keyboard for those times you
want to edit rather than just read.
- I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable
non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC that seems to have
all the features anyone could want, including, but not limited to:
hi-res color [good enough for medical slides
handwriting recognition good enough for medical handwriting
[and you could LEAVE it in your handwriting, if you wanted]
big enough ard drive [last year 40G, now larger]
optional keyboard, mouse, etc.
The only real trouble for me is the $2,000 pricetag.
> I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable...
> non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC
> The only real trouble for me is the $2,000 pricetag.As I pointed out in my original piece on this subject, that's the real
trouble for everyone. Take away the pen and touch screen, and it's
just a $1000 laptop.
What's a non-demonstration?
- On Mon, 1 Nov 2004, Bill Janssen wrote:
>It wasn't a demo by Fujitsu, just someone who does lectures and teaching
>> I went to a conference on eBooks Friday and saw a remarkable
>> non-demonstration of a Fujitsu tablet PC
>> The only real trouble for me is the $2,000 pricetag.
> As I pointed out in my original piece on this subject, that's the real
> trouble for everyone. Take away the pen and touch screen, and it's
> just a $1000 laptop.
> What's a non-demonstration?
with one of these [to a class who also uses them].
I was pretty impressed, with everything but the price, as usual.
I was taking _MY_ notes on my PDA with fold-up full size keyboard,
and will beam my notes to a friend who couldn't make it.
I also gave away some 10,000 Project Gutenberg eBooks, and showed
off a couple new DVDs I have that each contain about 20,000 eBooks.
I LOVE being able to make and snailmail 20,000 eBooks for $1 !!!
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