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Pockets and Briefcases

Current eBook readers are still too big. The nice thing about the 770 is that it fits in a jacket pocket. Things like Amazon’s Kindle are too big for a jacket pocket, unless you have the kind of greatcoat that would make Sir Percy Blakeney proud.

There’s an inherent problem with this kind of device, which has plagued laptop designers for years. To be portable, the device should be as small as possible. To be usable, the screen should be as large as possible. Books and newspapers get some of the best of both worlds by being foldable. An eBook reader with two screens that folded together might be particularly nice to use. If both were touchscreens, one could become a keyboard when used in a clamshell orientation. When used for reading books, it could compensate for the slow screen update speed by loading a page on one of the screens while the user read a page on the other screen.

An even better idea might be to return to an earlier reading device for inspiration: the scroll. Electronic paper can be "rolled up" without damaging it. It would be possible to build a device that had a roll of electronic paper inside that expanded when in use, probably with a rigid frame.

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