Sunday, 31 July 2022

e-paper devices (part 92)

 It's been a cold blustery day here on the edge of the Alps, so in between catching up on a couple of podcasts I've been researching where we are with e-paper devices.

At the bottom of the market there's a whole slew of slate like devices, mostly from east Asian manufacturers, and some of which have been repackaged as home note pads - put it on the fridge to tell the kids you've run away to Guatemala to run a taco stand - that sort of thing.

Practically their real usefulness is as a scrap paper replacement - instead of endless scribbles on bits of scrap paper, scribble on an e-slate and wipe it when you are done.

Looking at the pile of paper scraps on my desk, perhaps not such a bad idea, although both my cats would be upset - one of their favourite games is to get scrap paper out of the bin and bring it to me to screw up into a ball and throw  down the hallway for them.

At the top end you could have an iPad with an apple pencil, a remarkable, which looks to be really well thought out, and one or two other devices which allow annotation etc. I suspect that by next year we'll see some competition in this space and the reason for Remarkable's advertising blitz is to establish market share before the competition arrives.

And the middle?

There's a number of products based around reusable notebooks, which you wite on with a special pen, scan, and then wipe clean to reuse. Some, like Rocketbook, seem really well thought out, others perhaps less so. One of the selling propositions of these reusable notebooks is that they save paper by being reusable.

As I've argued elsewhere, you can buy a hell of a lot of recycled paper notebooks for the cost of a Rocketbook (something between fifty and sixty dollars, not to mention the special erasable pens at between $10 and $12).

And of course paper is eminently recyclable (and scannable) - I've been scanning my diaries and notebooks for over ten years now, so I'd describe them as an interesting bit of technology, but really as a solution in search of a problem ...

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