An eBook reader is a device that can read eBooks, digital versions of popular books, enabling you to carry a number of novels with you on one device. However, not all eBook readers were created equal and there are many different types.
Many convergence products, such as smartphones and PDAs, are capable of being used as eBook readers, but these don’t benefit from the electronic ink used in dedicated devices. Electronic ink is being developed by two key players: E Ink Corporation and Xerox. While both are being developed to work in different ways, they have some similarities, like the ink being made up of microcapsules filled with ink or an oily substance.
White particles carry a positive charge and the black ones carry a negative charge. When integrated into a screen fitted with microelectronics, the screen will be made of tiny cells, which could apply a negative or positive charge to the microcapsules making them visible or invisible on the screen, creating text.
Another important point of note is that different eBook readers will read different electronic formats. Not all will recognize the PDF format natively, often relying on specially designed formats, meaning that users have to stick to a particular type of eBook format to suit their device.
There is a massive list of formats, from the Kindle format for Amazon’s Kindle (.azw) to TomeRaider (.tr2, .tr3) for certain mobile devices, including the Windows Pocket PC devices.
The current generation of Amazon Kindles incorporate internet access via 3G and Wi-Fi, so content canbe downloaded using Amazon’s Whispernet service. Kindle applications are also available for the Apple iPhone and Windows systems, making this device a real competitor in the eReader market.