Proposed design of ReadiusHere’s an article from CNet News that shows off another possible form for the e-book reader, a device that – despite several companies’ best efforts – has attracted almost no interest from the consuming public.

The pictured device is called the Readius from a Dutch company called Polymer Vision. It’s an attempt to solve the quandary of how to configure a reader device with a screen small enough to be truly portable (like a cell phone’s) but large enough to read expanses of text comfortably (like a laptop’s).

The answer is to build a device with a flexible screen. The Readius’s screen isn’t the hard, inflexible screen we’re used to; it bends:

Polymer Vision’s vision, which it came up with three years ago…, is finally coming to fruition. The Readius is the size of most small mobile phones, but has a 5-inch screen that folds up to close.

It uses E-ink, the same technology used in the Sony Reader and Amazon.com’s Kindle, but Polymer Vision worked with E-Ink to come up with a thinner version of the technology so it would roll better.

I first saw an early E-ink device at a tech trade show in 2003, and it looked so much like real ink on paper – except it would redraw before your eyes, like some grimoire in a Harry Potter movie, when you pressed a button – that I began wondering whether it would become the reading medium of the future. And it may, if all the licensing and DRM issues that make e-books such a pain these days get worked out.

There doesn’t seem to be a real release date for the Readius yet, but it will supposedly be some time soon. So the next generation of kids may grow up with electronic ink on electronic paper, as well as the real stuff. I’m still skeptical, though.

Advertisements