A person wearing the Sol Reader goggles, with their eyes illuminated by its e-paper displays.

Long a staple expertise of digital e book readers, digital paper is lastly beginning to increase its attain, discovering its means into tablets, watches, and even vehicles, with a latest collaboration at CES between E Ink and BMW. But CES additionally noticed the reveal of an even stranger device based on electronic paper: a wearable system known as the Sol Reader that’s an e-reader you can wear on your face.

Although sure technical limitations stop digital paper from getting used as a common alternative for LCDs and OLEDs—you undoubtedly don’t need an E Ink TV hanging in your loved ones room—its technical benefits, together with low-power draw and a reflective display that’s simpler on the eyes, make it perfect for every little thing from e-readers to e-notes. Where we didn’t count on digital paper to indicate up, even the brand new colour varieties, was in a pair of goggles.

So far, the goggles kind issue has been reserved largely for both digital actuality, augmented actuality, or wearable gadgets that blend each, leveraging two screens to immerse viewers in 3D worlds or experiences. There’s little doubt that wearables are the way forward for the gadgets we nonetheless carry stuffed away in our pockets, however the Sol Reader isn’t seeking to exchange smartphones. Instead, it’s concentrating on e-readers.

I attempted an e-Ink Powered HMD…

Details concerning the system on its official website are slim, however Brad Lynch, of YouTube’s SadlyItsBradley channel, managed to get some hands-on time with a prototype of the Sol Reader at CES final week, and shared their impressions in a video. Weighing in at lower than 100 grams, the goggles appear and feel like a light-weight pair of VR goggles (you possibly can’t see the world round you whereas carrying them) however as an alternative function a pair of digital paper screens behind a set of pancake lenses.

The Sol Reader doesn’t current customers with 3D interactive digital worlds, however as an alternative permits them to learn. You’ll see what seems to be like a e book web page floating in a darkish void in entrance of you, or above you when utilizing the goggles whereas laying down, which is outwardly the perfect use case, because the Sol Reader doesn’t function a head strap. Page turning is completed by way of a wi-fi handheld distant, whereas battery life is promised to be near 30 hours, because of using e-paper shows.

Lynch does give a quick peek at the screens inside the device in the video, which sadly look disappointingly low-res, however factors out the crew behind it has been speaking to E Ink about securing an answer with extra decision. That can be essential, because the Sol Reader is anticipated to promote for a hefty $350 someday this 12 months. If the studying expertise doesn’t come anyplace near what a Kindle supplies, it’s exhausting to think about anybody spending that a lot cash on the wearable when the Meta Quest 2 is simply $50 extra and has loads of e-book studying apps obtainable for it.

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