This whole e-ink thing was around before the Amazon Kindle hit the scene, but the same can be said about MP3 players before we saw the first Apple iPod. It seems that e-book readers could be the next big thing, but they’re all so stiff. Ironically enough, the first flexible e-reader could be coming from Bridgestone.
Yes, the same Bridgestone that produces the rubber on your Toyota and Ford. The company may be better known for its tire products, but that means that they know a thing or two about having flexible materials. Rubber is pretty flexible, but it’s not like the Bridgestone e-book reader will have treads and speed ratings.
What you see here is one of the first prototypes of the Bridgestone flexible e-book reader. It doesn’t have a model name or number yet, but you can see that it uses the electronic paper and it seems to do color too.
The screen on the prototype measures 10.7-inches across the diagonal and the device is just 5.8mm thick. By comparison, the Kindle 2 has a profile of 9.1mm. The circuit board and e-paper are both flexible, so you can “bend” the device a little without it breaking.
Consumer tests are scheduled to commence in the Spring, but Bridgestone says that it has no commercial aspirations for this product.