The next generation of Kindles will have glowing screens, according to an article published by Techcrunch this weekend. The development has been made possible by a hitherto unreported acquisition that took place in 2010 when Amazon bought Helsinki-based Oy Modilis. The release date for the new Kindles is unclear, but is expected to be some time this year.
Lighting the Kindle screen is not difficult, but lighting it in an unobtrusive way that doesn’t make reading a headache-inducing nightmare is more of a challenge. Amazon and Oy Modilis seem to have cracked this by creating a ‘cool’ light with an onscreen slider than can be dragged to change the intensity. By all accounts, the light works rather well.
For many people, having a light-emitting Kindle might sound like a nightmare, and they would prefer not to read at all when it’s dark. But the new device apparently uses indirect / diffused lighting reflected off the e-ink, rather than direct backscreen lighting. And of course if you’re reading in a bright room, you can have the light off altogether. We’ll have to wait and see, though, whether Amazon has cracked the lighting issue once and for all.