Amazon shuts down Liquavista, the technology future is unclear

According to report, Amazon decided to shut down Liquavista - an e-paper developer that it has acquired in 2013. It is not clear yet whether Amazon decided to discard the technology, or whether it has moved the technology to another part of the organization.

Liquavista was established in 2006 as a spin-off from Philips, with an aim to develop its Electrowetting technology, which can be used to develop full-color and video-capable e-paper displays. Liquavista was acquired by Samsung in 2011, and in 2013 Samsung sold it to Amazon.

Amazon celebrates the Kindle 10th Anniversary with a $30 discount on most models

Amazon launched its first Kindle device 10 years ago, and the retail giant is celebrating this event by offering a $30 discount on its 2017 Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage devices.

Amazon Kindle 2016 photo

You can enjoy this discount till the end of the day (October 25) - the Kindle is now at only $49.99, the Kindle Paperwhite at $89.99 and the Kindle Voyage at $169.99. These are the prices for the special offers editions (ad supported).

Amazon Kindle was a huge success at the company's second annual Prime Day

Amazon reportedly enjoyed tremendous success with its second annual Prime Day. According to the Good E-Reader, one of the biggest success stories was the Kindle e-Reader - Amazon sold a few hundred thousand of its Kindles worldwide.

Amazon Kindle Oasis photo

Amazon offers several e-reader Kindles - from the basic models up to the high-end $290 Kindle Oasis. It's likely that most people opted for the cheaper, basic Kindle.

Is Amazon ready to release an 8" color electrowetting e-reader soon?

Back in 2013, Samsung sold LiquaVista, its electrowetting display unit, to Amazon (Samsung itself bought Liquavista in 2011). Electrowetting enables low-power non-volatile color e-paper displays, but the technology has not been commercialized yet.

According to Good-E-Reader, Amazon is now developing an 8" color e-reader that uses an electrowetting display, and it plans to release this new e-reader towards the end of 2016. Amazon will produce these new displays in China - at the Beijing Century Joyo Information Technology's fab in Shenzhen. This is of course not confirmed yet or anything, it'll be interesting to see if Amazon is indeed so far advanced with its Electrowetting tech.

Research Frontiers says E Ink, Sony, Amazon and B&N infringe upon their SPD technology patents

One three days ago we reported that CopyTele's lawsuit against E Ink was dismissed (although they do have to participate in the CopyTele vs AUO arbitration meetings) - and today a new lawsuit was charged against E Ink, Amazon, B&N and Sony, this time by Research Frontiers.

Research Frontiers developed a technology called SPD, a smart light-control technology. They say that E Ink and the other companies infringed upon two of their patents. Research Frontiers say they have invested about $90 million dollar in decades of research to develop the SPD technology. Over 40 companies around the world entered into a license agreement with them.

Amazon buys Samsung's Liquavista electrowetting display unit

Two months ago it was rumored that Samsung wants to sell its electrowetting display unit LiquaVista which they bought back in January 2011, and Amazon may turn out to be the buyer. Now Amazon confirmed the rumors and indeed bought LiquaVista from Samsung.

It makes sense that Amazon is seeking a color display technology for its Kindle e-readers. It may be that E Ink's colored displays are still disappointing Amazon and they need a display with a wider color gamut and better contrast.

Amazon to buy Samsung's electrowetting display unit (Liquavista)?

According to Bloomberg, Samsung wants to sell its electrowetting display unit LiquaVista which they bought back in January 2011. They are currently in talks with Amazon, that will pay a sub-$100 million sum to Samsung for the unit. According to the report, a Samsung spokesperson admitted that the Liquavista acquisition "didn't meet its expectations".

I believe Amazon does want to bring new life into its Kindle e-reader line, and LiquaVista's display can enable color e-paper displays with a fast refresh rate compared to E Ink. On the other hand the technology is much less mature and I'm not sure if Amazon is the sort of company to actually succeed in commercializing such a technology. This one is going to be interesting to watch...

Utility Kit, our second Kindle software title is released!

We're happy and proud to announce that after over a year in development, our second Kindle software title has been released. Utility Kit is a collection of must-have applications for your Kindle, which can enhance your reading experience and make your life easier. It includes seven different applications:

  • Calculator
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • World clocks
  • Calendar
  • Units conversion
  • Notepad

Utility Kit title image

E Ink e-readers are better because they offer less distraction

E Ink just shared this funny new video, comparing E Ink e-readers to tablets for reading applications. They discuss the usual E Ink advantages (lower power and good readability under direct light) - but they also say that your e-reader is better than your tablet for reading - because it does not distract you with emails, messages and videos. The motto is "E Ink is the best for focused reading, anything less is a distraction":

Maybe I'm not objective, but I agree with them on that one. While most people prefer a tablet over an e-reader because it can do much more, I personally prefer my Kindle (the new paperwhite one) to read. I love that it's low-power and low weight (I cannot understand how people can hold a 900 gram tablet for hours) and of course the E Ink display is great. I also think it's true that when you read, a device that is actually less capable will be better...