"Basically an optical fibre that's been flattened out into a sheet that's capturing the light and transmitting it across the surface." That's how one Amazon engineer describes the screen on the Kindle Paperwhite in a new video explaining the tech powering the ebook reader.
According to Jay Marine, VP of Kindle product management, Amazon has been working on the illuminated screen for eight years, SlashGear reports. Marine describes the Paperwhite as "the Kindle we've always wanted to build."
It does sound pretty impressive. Rob Zehner, senior manager for display hardware, explains how the Paperwhite manages to light up without putting strain on your peepers.
"People have tried to do frontlighting on displays for years," he says, before detailing the all new tech inside the Kindle Paperwhite. Light is captured by the film, and bounces from one end to the other, shining off the display, and being reflected back up. By adjusting the pattern, Amazon has managed to get an even amount of light coming out of the screen.
Or so it claims. We'll have to wait for a hands-on to verify.
It was a real struggle balancing light quality with battery life, according to Zehner. "We spent a lot of time looking at how many LEDs to put in, how hard to drive them, how bright we could get it without impacting the battery life," he says.
The team also set about slimming down the device, and stripping it of buttons and other things that "distract from the reading experience," according to Laurent Sellier, director of Kindle product management.
Which makes it all the more annoying that no UK launch has been announced. Blast. Lucky Americans can pick up a Paperwhite on 1 October -- that's Monday -- when it hits Amazon's digital shelves.
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