The Amazon Kindle Voyage e-reader first became available at the tail end of 2014. This device is really exciting because it features a high resolution display and innovative technologies such as Haptic feedback. Many Canadians have wanted to buy this device in the retail environment or online, but it hasn’t become available yet. This is primarily due to an outstanding patent that the Federal government has yet to approve.
Amazon originally filed Patent 2750759 in 2010 for Haptic feedback for inclusion in some of their e-readers. It has ever been approved or disapproved by the Canadian government. In January 2015 Amazon filed for a reexamination of the case in the hope they could get a definitive answer for making the Voyage available. There hasn’t been any movement yet regarding this issue and likely this iteration of the Kindle will never come to Canada.
So what exactly is Haptic feedback? Haptic technology, haptics, or kinesthetic communication, is tactile feedback technology which recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. Most people who had an old Android phone four or five years ago experienced this when they clicked on the home or settings buttons and felt a little buzz. Amazon incorporated this technology at the expense of eliminating physical page turn buttons. The Seattle company dubbed the experience Page Press.
Likely the main reason why the government has not approved this patent is because many old phones and tablets use Haptic feedback and it may set a bad prescient for future innovation if Amazon repackages it and gives it a different name.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.