Qualcomm: Colour eBook readers still on way, thanks to next-gen Mirasol tech

When Pocket-lint first saw Qualcomm offshoot Mirasol's full colour E Ink prototype devices back in June 2010, there was much optimism for the technology, leading many to believe the market would become flooded with colour Kindles and other eBook readers.

But that didn't materialise, with manufacturers preferring to stick to LCD displays and the like for colour duties, leading Qualcomm to cancel its first full-colour eBook reader and go back to the drawing board. Some even believed that was it for colour E Ink.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs is still upbeat about the technology, and is convinced that there will be devices with Mirasol screens forthcoming - most likely using a more advanced version of the technology.

Speaking to a handful of international journalists - including Pocket-lint - in a behind-closed-doors briefing, Jacobs revealed that while it will still be using the original Mirasol technology for certain applications, it will be the new edition that will make its way into E Ink devices.

"We have a next-gen technology that's much brighter, should be more cost effective and has a number of other good attributes. It is this that we will license out," he said.

"I still believe in the technology," he continued. "It's always on and outdoor viewable. And one of the things that will be in the new technology is a better colour gamut."

Jacobs also pointed out that Mirasol technology is still better for power consumption than the backlit screens adopted by tablet manufacturers. And that's important in an eBook reader.

"The idea is that it can go into one mode where it can have high brightness and high colour, and then it can go into a more passive mode and then down to an always-on mode which uses the least amount of power," he said.

"I continue to believe that power consumption is critical. Having that outdoor visibility is important too."



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