Qualcomm, the makers of all things mobile and electronic have won a new customer for it’s miraculous Mirasol Display. The new Koobe e-reader is a part of the Jin Yong branded range of e-readers that includes the latest 5.7 inch color Mirasol display. Price and release date are yet to be announced. When released the e-reader will include 36 works by Jin Yong himself, China’s highest selling living author.
Koobe are Taiwan’s leading e-reader manufacturer, and the new Jin Yong e-reader is the forth to use the Mirasol display technology. The others include the Kyobo e-reader from Korea along with the Hanvon C18 and Bambook Sunflower e-readers, both from China.
The Jin Yong is based on the same technology as the other three already released e-readers. Aside from the 5.7″ – 1024×768 – Mirasol color display the new e-reader also features a 1GHz SnapDragon S2 processor and a customized version of Android 2.3 with Koobe’s own custom software sitting atop Android, so expect few customization options.
The Qualcomm Mirasol technology is vastly different to the two dominant technologies in e-readers and tablets, namely LCD and E-Ink. LCD has all of the looks and color but it draws a lot of power and doesn’t look so great in outdoor light. E-Ink on the other hand has great outdoor reading, ultra-low power but slow refresh rates and black and white only have so far limited it to e-readers. Mirasol promises the best of both worlds. The color Mirasol display actually looks better outside, draws very low power – only using power to change the display – and has fast enough frame rates to play games and animations.
The Mirasol display itself is a very clever piece of engineering. Using a series of micro mechanical machines the display is able to move a reflective surface to display a light or dark pixel. For a more detailed explanation of the Mirasol display please refer to Kyobo Tablet: The Mirasol Display, Butterfly Wings Reflecting The World
In related news Qualcomm isn’t standing still with the Mirasol technology, the purchase of Pixtronix may raise more question than it answers but at least it shows they are working on it. Pixtronix is known for their PerfectLight displays using MEMS-based digital micro shutters for modulation of RGB LED back-light. A similar technology to the Mirasol display. It is unknown if Qualcomm intends this new technology to supersede of enhance the existing Mirasol technology. They do seem to be very complimentary technologies.
The Mirasol is by far the most promising new display technology to compete with the venerable LCD panel and the new upstart that is E-Ink. While both LCD and E-Ink have had years to establish themselves in the market Mirasol is slowly working it’s way into the world of portable gadgets. The only question left is when will the rest of the world get the Mirasol option?