Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just submitted a new patent that will change the way our Kindle e-Readers and Tablets function. Right now these devices have reached a level where the hardware internals and battery life can’t really get much better without drastically increasing the cost. The new patent will have your unit actually powered and major processes handled by a remote server or primary station. Tablets and e-readers will transform into all-in-one ultra portable display screens with all processes handled by base stations.
The essence of this patent will be to offer very low cost display screens, where the battery, processor, RAM, and other major hardware will be handled by a base station. The patent outlines many innovative approaches. For example, a school can set up multiple base stations and when the screen is in a certain proximity, the screens will wake-up and be able to access the internet and have ebooks and other course material wirelessly delivered.
The major claim from the patent is “A computer implemented method, comprising: under control of one or more computer systems configured with executable instructions, detecting a portable display within range of a first primary station, the portable display including a power receiving element and a data receiving element, the first primary station including a data transmitting element and a power transmitting element; wirelessly receiving power from the power transmitting element of the first primary station to the power receiving element of the portable display; wirelessly receiving data from the data transmitting element of the first primary station to the data receiving element of the portable display; detecting the portable display within range of a second primary station, the second primary station including a power transmitting element and a data transmitting element; wirelessly receiving power from the power transmitting element of the second primary station to the power receiving element of the portable display in response to detecting the portable display within the range of the second primary station; and wirelessly receiving data from the data transmitting element of the second primary station to the data receiving element of the portable display.”
Could you imagine a future where the real cost of the tablet is the hardware base station? Much like a PC, it would be easily upgradable for more CPU, RAM, and internals. The small cost would be the actual display screen, which would be negligible. You can see from looking at the patent information that the CEO of Amazon is thinking about the future, and how costs can be lowered.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.