updated 10:30 am EST, Wed November 24, 2010
PocketBook mirasol e-reader due mid-2011
PocketBook today inadvertently confirmed that it's developing an e-reader based on Qualcomm's mirasol display technology. In a since-retracted update, the company said it would show the hardware at the CES expo in January. Specifications aren't official, but Digital Reader was told by a source that a prototype was using a 12 frames per second screen, slightly slower than the 15FPS Electronista has seen, and that the display has a raw cost about 50 percent higher than for regular e-paper.
The reader might not ship until summer 2011, the unofficial contact said. Qualcomm has said that the first devices should be ready for the market in early 2011 and would most likely involve e-readers with some tablet functionality, since even 15FPS is fast enough to support some real-time tasks.
Mirasol uses iridescence like that in butterfly wings to produce color without needing a backlight. The technology still produces a low color range, but it should eventually improve and advance to 30FPS, making possible color tablets and e-readers that have battery life as long as today's grayscale e-readers.