Remember Bookeen? The company made a line of e-readers called Cybooks. Back in 2007, it was going to make an e-reader for Baen, but it never materialized. In the last few weeks, they’ve made a couple of announcements about an impending new e-ink technology called HSIS (High Speed Ink System) that will be fast enough to allow scrolling and panning around web pages.

On GigaOm, Kevin C. Tofel presents a 10-second YouTube video of a demo of the e-ink technology, showing a screen scrolling around on a website. It looks pretty good; comparable to what it looks like to scroll around on a standard LCD screen except in black and white.

Tofel is glad to see the company is still around and innovating, but wonders whether Bookeen’s device sporting the new technology, the Cybook Odyssey, will make it to the US where Kindle, Nook, and Kobo pretty much have the market sewn up.

I would be more inclined to wonder, if it does make it to the US, if it will make it in the US. Though no price has yet been announced, I would imagine the device will have to cost more than equivalently-sized current-generation readers that don’t scroll, and will anybody really want to pay that much for a third-party reader? People don’t seem to have any problem reading e-books a page at a time on current devices, and especially in this economy people are very conscious of price. (Certainly that’s where Amazon is competing with its Kindle.)

Perhaps it might be better, financially, for Bookeen to concentrate on licensing its technology to the other companies that are in a position to sell many more units. But I guess we’ll see.


  1. This looks like it would also be a great feature for comics and comic strips. I can see value in this for textbooks as well. Low cost readers with web scrolling abilities would be very marketable in the educational fields. I am not sure I would market a reader around it though, US market is so locked through retailers. Licensing it out though to Nook or Kobo could be very attractive for them.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail