LEDs integrated into eBook Reader
Barnes & Noble has revealed the latest version of its Nook eBook reader, which for the first time will feature an integrated LED light. The intention is to make it easier to see the screen in dark environments.
The Nook range is a rival to Amazon's long established Kindle family, with the new Nook Simple Touch model representing the more affordable end of the Barnes & Noble eBook Reader stable.
eBook readers such as the Nook and Kindle use a technology known as e-Ink, which enables the display to mimic a real printed book. This means that, unlike other digital screens, it is comfortable and indeed desirable to view it in direct sunlight or under the glow of a table lamp.
However, as with real text on the page, it is necessary to have a secondary light source to actually see older eBook readers, which means that reading in the dark is out of the question.
The Nook Simple Touch addresses this limitation by integrating an LED light at the top of the screen which projects down across the six inch display to give surprisingly even light distribution.
Sony attempted to fit an LED within an eBook reader a few years ago but it was less than successful because the placement of the unit did not deliver uniform brightness. It became a distraction rather than a convenience.
Because eBook readers do not have to drawn upon the battery in order to illuminate their displays at all times, in contrast with other electronic devices, they offer substantial usage time from a single charge.
It is hoped that the new Nook will be able to maintain this benefit by using a single low-power LED light to bring the screen to life, allowing you to continue to read your favourite book whilst in adverse light conditions.