E Ink Holdings, “E Ink”, a leading innovator of electronic ink technology, has announced a partnership with Progress Technologies Inc., a technical service for design development, to bring E Ink’s ePaper modules to a first-of-its-kind E-Manga solution, the eOneBook.
Developed for readers who prefer paperback comic books to tablets, the eOneBook, currently seeking crowdfunding to combine all 18 episodes of legendary manga Fist of the North Star into one innovative, bilingual ebook, combines an entire volume of manga comics into a single device using E Ink’s low-power, high contrast paper-like display.
Earlier this year, Japan’s Research Laboratory of the Publishing Science revealed that the eBook market increased by 13.2 percent in 2016, totalling 25.8 billion yen in sales.
“With the increasing popularity of manga comics, avid readers are clamouring for a convenient solution that can store their collections in one location for easy, on-the-go reading,” says Mr. Toru Konishi, Executive Director at Progress Technologies.
“However, they have found that current market options do not offer the same benefits that only their paper counterparts can provide.
“Typical LCD screens often distort or fail to convey the fine details of comic book art and many readers experience eye fatigue after long periods of staring at the screen. To address these issues, we saw an opportunity to partner with E Ink to use their ePaper technology to create a solution that could house an entire manga collection on one device, while preserving the experience of reading a paper comic book.”
The eOneBook solution is made up of two (2) 7.28” E Ink electronic paper displays (EPDs) enclosed in a paper casing, resembling the desired look and feel of a paperback comic book. The device features both Japanese and English language settings, the ability to loan comic books to others and is expected to ship in April, 2018 with a planned retail price of 37,800 Japanese Yen (Japanese Tax Inclusive) – about £250, or around $335.
E Ink Holdings Inc., based on technology from MIT’s Media Lab, has transformed and defined the eReader market and is redefining the signage, architecture and design, mobile, wearable and retail markets with its ePaper technology, enabling a new multi-billion dollar market in less than 10 years. Its Electrophoretic Display products make it the worldwide leader for ePaper.
“As we have seen with many of our applications, customers choose E Ink technology because it gives the sense that they are reading actual paper,” said Dr. Paul Apen, Chief Strategy Officer at E Ink. “With manga comics growing at such a rapid rate, we knew that this was a market we needed to enter and felt that our displays provided a natural fit. We are excited to collaborate with Progress Technologies to create a unique device that uses our advanced ePaper technology, while mirroring the appearance of fans’ favorite comic books.”
The first manga E-Cartoon collection will be the “Hokuto-no-Ken” (Fist of the North Star) series. All 246 chapters and 18 volumes of the manga series will be accessible on the device.
The eOneBook launched on Kickstarter earlier this month and will be on display at CEATEC 2017 from 3rd – 6th October in Chiba, Japan, the Digital Content EXPO from 27th – 29th October in Tokyo and Embedded Technologies from 15th – 17th November in Yokohama, Japan.