If you are hoping for the upcoming Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader to have the same type of Glowlight that to the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Glo has, you might be let down. Recently, Sony has announced that the company is very resistive to the idea of incorporating a front-lit display in any of its next generation e-readers.
Stephanie Lang, head of group IT division of Sony France, said in a recent interview, “We believe that the integration of lighting from the sides is not necessarily helpful and may even degrade the reading experience. It moves away from the traditional reading experience on paper. By cons, we believe it can be useful to have a cover that integrates a light that can guide the reader as he wishes. But we do not seek to incorporate lighting directly into the hardware of the reader.”
The restiveness to incorporating a front-lit display stems from one of their old e-readers, the PRS-700. Sony actually released a very terrible reader with a side-lit display in 2008. This has put a sour taste on the whole concept, Stephanie said. “We had concluded that the reading lights are aimed really heavy readers who seek an experience close to the paper, and light alter the experience. So we focused on other features that the book is not, as the ability to enlarge the font to enhance reading comfort.” She went on to say “Studies we conducted have shown that the presence of an integrated lighting system was not a criterion: it is a popular feature from time to time, but that’s all. We prefer to focus on the rest of the reading light to provide a highly efficient device, without this feature, it offers optional via accessories. This is the bias that we take.”
It seems at least one major Sony spokesman, who does know a thing or two about the company’s European strategy, is saying that the company will not release a front-lit e-reader. Obviously, this is probably not indicative to the company’s overall game plan for the future of e-readers, but it does not bode well for people who want to read in the dark without an additional light.
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.