Fujitsu Announces First Color E-Paper Terminal FLEPia

flepia Color e-books are indeed coming.  Fujitsu Frontech and Fujitsu Laboratories Limtiedhas announced the first color e-paper mobile terminal called the FLEPia. It is available for purchase now in Japan. It has an 8 inch high definition display capable of showing up to 260,000 colors. It comes with Bluetooth and WiFi radios and supposedly will run up to 40 hours of continuous use.

According to the press release it does not require power to display a screen image only drawing down the battery for screen refreshes. Yes there is a touch screen and it also includes a stylus. Storage for e-books looks to be on an SD card.

The device currently reads two e-book formats: XMDF and .book. The FLEPia also runs Windows CE for web browsing, email, and according to the users can use Microsoft Office to generate and view documents.

Check out the press release after the jump.

Tokyo and Kawasaki, Japan, March 18, 2009 — Fujitsu Frontech Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced the start of consumer sales in Japan of the world’s first color e-paper mobile terminal, FLEPia, available for purchase from today through Fujitsu Frontech’s online store ““FrontechDirect”. Developed by Fujitsu Frontech and Fujitsu Laboratories, FLEPia is the first ever mobile information terminal to feature color electronic paper (color e-paper). In addition to being lightweight and thin, the color e-paper mobile terminal features an easy-to-view 8-inch display screen capable of showing up to 260,000 colors in high-definition, in addition to being equipped with Bluetooth and high-speed wireless LAN. FLEPia is also power-efficient, enabling up to 40 hours of continuous battery operation when fully charged, and does not require power for continuous display of a screen image, consuming power only during re-draw. Featuring significant storage capabilities, when used with a 4GB SD card, the color e-paper terminal can store the equivalent of 5,000 conventional paper-based books when each book is 300 pages long at 600KB per book, thus being environmentally friendly. In Japan, FLEPia can now be easily ordered from Fujitsu Frontech’s online store. As an additional option, through Fujitsu Frontech’s dedicated website, FLEPia users can purchase e-books from the largest e-book online retailer in Japan and download the e-books directly into FLEPia. As the only color e-paper mobile terminal commercially available, FLEPia offers a convenient, paper-free and eco-conscious enriched innovative mobile reading experience to users.

 

Figure 1: Fujitsu’s color e-paper mobile terminal FLEPia

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Background

Fujitsu Frontech and Fujitsu Laboratories co-developed proprietary color e-paper, and announced the launch of FLEPia in April 2007 as the world’s first color e-paper mobile terminal. Previously, commercial samples of FLEPia were available for purchase on a limited basis for corporate use only, as part of field trials of the first ever color e-paper mobile terminal. Compared to the FLEPia commercial samples which were used in field marketing, the latest FLEPia offers 1.5 times higher brightness and greater contrast, enabled through optimization of the color e-paper’s optical properties. Re-draw speed was also enhanced by 1.7 times. In addition to previously available high-speed wireless LAN, FLEPia is equipped with Bluetooth, enabling users to easily download and access various content from nearly any desired location.

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Key Features

1. Lightweight, thin and high-performance: 8-inch screen displays up to 260,000 colors in high-definition

Weighing just 385 grams (385g) and only 12.5mm thick, FLEPia is lightweight and easily portable, while offering an easy-to-view 8-inch screen. Featuring world-leading color e-paper technologies, the mobile display terminal enables users to view a multitude of documents and images in high-definition at 768 dots x 1,014 dots (XGA), with up to 260,000 displayable colors (4,096-color and 64-color display is also possible, if desired).

2. Power-efficient color e-paper; enables up to 40-hour continuous battery operation

As the color e-paper employed displays text or images by reflecting external light, FLEPia does not require power to maintain screen display, consuming power only during re-draw (power consumption is approximately just 1/50 that of standard notebook PCs under similar usage conditions). When fully-charged, FLEPia offers up to 40 hours of continuous battery operation (conditions: display of 2,400 pages at 1 page per minute with 64 colors).

3. Feature-rich external interface (Japan: Bluetooth, high-speed wireless LAN)

Equipped with Bluetooth in addition to high-speed wireless LAN, FLEPia offers dial-up connection via various Japanese mobile carriers, thus enabling easy download of content featuring images and text (excluding audio and video content) from nearly any desired location. Also included as standard features are a USB mini-B connector supporting USB2.0 (480Mbps) and a SD memory card slot. Stereo speakers (embedded) offer audio playback of e-books, including picture books.

4. User-friendly operation: touch screen, digital stylus, scroll key, function buttons

A touch screen featured on the 8-inch display screen, along with a digital pen, enables easy operation of FLEPia. Also included are a scroll key and 6 function buttons, enabling users to freely and quickly implement commands on the screen in all 4 directions (up, down, left, right), as desired.

5. Two e-book viewers included as standard features (XMDF and .book formats)

Two popular e-book viewers widely used on PCs or mobile phones in Japan – ““BunkoViewer” (XMDF format; ““bunko” refers to ““library” in Japanese) and ““T-Time” (.book format) are included as standard features. These e-book viewers enable downloaded e-books to be easily read with FLEPia. The e-book viewers offer an enriched reading experience compared to conventional paper-based reading, enabling readers to jump from the table of contents to desired sections and freely enlarge or shrink text or images. A vast number of e-book sites are currently available on the Internet, and a wide range of approximately 20,000 Japanese e-books in either XMDF or .book format can be downloaded with FLEPia (see ““Content Storage Capacity” under Specifications).

6. Equipped with Windows CE5.0 (Japanese version)

In addition to the content browser, Microsoft’s Windows CE5.0 (Japanese version) enables use of an internet browser, e-mail, and various software on FLEPia. Microsoft’s Office can also be used to generate text documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, making it possible to view a variety of documents – including e-mail file attachments – while in transit or in the field and away from an office environment, thus fully maximizing FLEPia’s multiple functions as a mobile information terminal. In terms of text input, a software keyboard and digital stylus make it possible to send e-mails and other text.

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Dedicated customer-support website offers technical support, maintenance, software upgrades (Japan)

Fujitsu Frontech will offer a dedicated customer-support site, FLEPia World, on its Japanese website. FLEPia World will offer product information to potential customers considering purchase of FLEPia, in addition to technical and maintenance support to FLEPia users. Software upgrades will be offered free-of-charge.

Furthermore, customers will have the option of purchasing e-books through the FLEPia World website via Japan’s largest e-book online retailer – offered through a collaboration between the retailer PAPYLESS CO.,Ltd. and Fujitsu Frontech – and downloading the e-books directly onto FLEPia.

Pricing, Options, and Shipment

Product
FrontechDirect on-line purchase price** (Japan)
Availability (Japan)

FLEPia unit set* (White or Black)
99,750 JPY
From April 20, 2009

Options (sold separately)
Book cover
(White or Black)
5,800 JPY
From April 20, 2009

Storage case
(White or Black)
5,500 JPY
From April 20, 2009

*Set includes USB cable (mini-B connector), AC adaptor, stand, wrist strap

**Prices include 5% consumption tax

Sales Target (Japan)

50,000 units by the end of 2010

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Specifications

Dimensions, Weight
158mm (Width) × 240mm (Height) × 12.5mm (Depth. Thinnest section: 11.3mm) , Weight: 385g

Screen Size
8-inch (123.6mm x 164.8mm)

Unit Colors
White or Black

Resolution
768 dots x 1024 dots (XGA)

Number of Displayable Colors
260,000 colors (3 Scans); 4,096 (2 Scans); 64 colors (1 Scan)

Re-Draw Speed
1.8 seconds (1 Scan), 5 seconds (2 Scans), 8 seconds (3 Scans)

Wireless LAN (embedded)
IEEE802.11b/g(11/54Mbps *1)

Bluetooth
Bluetooth Ver2.0+EDR

Memory
SD Memory Card*2 (Maximum up to 4GB)

USB Connector
USB2.0 (480Mbps) mini-B connector × 1

Audio
Stereo speakers (embedded), headphone connector x 1

Power Supply
Lithium polymer battery (embedded), AC adaptor
Fully-charged continuous operation: 40 continuous hours
(Conditions: Display of 2,400 pages/at 1 minute per page/with 64 colors)

Content Storage Capacity (when used with a 4GB SD card)
Equivalent to 5,000 paper-based books when each book is 300 pages long with 600KB per book

Security
128Bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)

Software
FLEPia application, Japanese version Microsoft Windows CE5.0, Japanese e-book viewers: BunkoViewer (XMDF), T-Time (.book)

CPU (embedded)
XScale RISC CPU

Environmental Operating Conditions
Operation: Temperature range: 5 to 35 degrees Celsius, Humidity: 20 to 80% RH
Storage: Temperature range: – 10 to 50 degrees Celsius, Humidity: 20 to 80% RH

*1 Figure indicates theoretical maximum transmission rate for standard

wireless LAN; does not indicate actual data transmission speed.

*2 SD memory card is sold separately

  

Comments

  1. Ben says

    hope this catches on very soon. i’d like to purchase one of these, but with many more formats supported. it would be nice to be able to use it as a notepad/clipboard too.

  2. Ben says

    also, i think e-books really need some accepted standard defined. it seems every reader and company uses a different format (though support many common ones).

  3. SAM says

    Behold! The scroll has been reinvented…
    LOL

    Every since they used the rolled up electronic map in Mission to Mars, I’ve thought it would be great to see this come reality

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