An e-book reader is a mobile device designed primarily for reading digital books. The device is equipped with a screen for reading and should allow the storage of digital publications in order to make personal digital library.
The digital format provides some functionality including the ability to carry an entire library with you, enlarge the font size, search for words throughout the text, use navigation features hypertext to highlight passages, add personal notes, and bookmarks and seek internal dictionary or listen to text by voice synthesis, check the internet and listen to audio files. In 2012, many e-book readers are equipped with a touch screen and Wi-Fi.
Unlike touch tablets, e-readers use mainly an electronic paper display technology. Machines with this type of screen offers the same qualities of reading a book and enjoy a range much greater than tablets. However, their use are more limited than those of a machine with a screen which requires light emission, such as LCD. Electronic paper does not allow, in 2011, to view a page in color with good definition or more anecdotally to play a video.
Other devices such as tablets and laptop can be equipped with an application to read digital books.
History of e-book readers
In 1992-1993 , F. Crugnola and I. Rigamonti plan and perform for their master’s thesis at Milan Polytechnic, the first reader of e-books (electronic support for read-only text) that they call “INCIPIT.”
In 1998, Jacques Attali and Erik Orsenna based Cytale which launches the first device for reading digital books, Cybook. This first attempt, highly publicized at that time (space is devoted to the Paris Book Fair) was however a commercial failure. Michael Dahan and Laurent Picard, the two designers of the device, show the assets thereof and funded Bookeen in 2003.
e-Book reader specifications
There are many e-Book readers on the market. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookeen, Icarus, iRiver, Kobo, Onyx, PocketBook and Sony among others produce devices with electronic paper. Most e-readers are equipped in 2012 with an electrophoretic, tactile display, size 6″, which displays a resolution of 600×800 pixels and sixteen levels of gray, and in 2013 they feature a HD screen that displays a resolution of 768×1024 and incorporates an illumination system.
Translated and adapted from Wikipedia.