We have e-readers, digital note-taking devices, smartwatches, and a myriad of other DIY stuff using E Ink displays. Now, here comes a headset, or rather a head-mounted display that uses the e-paper panels and is designed to take e-reading to a new level altogether. Developed by the start-up Sol Reader, the upcoming E Ink headset by the same name is still a work-in-progress thing though the company did have a prototype to show off at the CES event.
From what YouTuber Bradley who runs the YouTube channel SadlyItsBradley stated from the brief time he got to spend with the HMD, the Sol Reader is a simple device weighing just about 100 grams. It is designed to allow for a more comfortable hands-free reading experience, like being able to read a book while lying down. You might argue you are able to do that with the Kindle or other e-readers out there but with the Sol Reader, you are not required to constantly hold something with your arms. Instead, you just put on the Sol Reader HMD and control the display – read flipping pages – with a simple controller that you can operate with your fingers.
The Sol Reader is projected to have a battery life of 30 hours on a single charge, which is pretty much decent for a device with such a compact form factor. In fact, it can easily last a couple of weeks and can be recharged via the USB-C port it comes with. The HMD meanwhile also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Bradley said you will be looking at a pair of pancake E Ink lenses that projects a square page containing the block of text. The page is projected against a dark background and is similar to looking at the page of a book.
Bradley however stated reading via the Sol Reader is still far from ideal given the issue of light leaking. He also pointed out that wearing the glasses wasn’t comfortable either as the arms were a bit short and a headband that wraps around your head and holds the lenses securely against your eye is missed.
However, as already stated, the Sol Reader is still under development, and we can expect the final thing to be a lot more fine-tuned than what it is right now. A higher resolution display with better contrast and brightness or maybe the latest Gallery 3 color displays can do wonders to what can be considered one of the most innovative applications of E Ink displays that we have seen in recent times. As for its price, at $350, it isn’t quite cheap though. Pre-orders haven’t started yet but you can join the wait list at the company website here.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.