Beyond the iPad: Why Embedding E-Ink as an Alternative to Tablets | your technology | Country

Technology ceases to be useful when the user is responsible for it and not the other way around. A study conducted by the Asurion service portal, revealed that Americans consult the mobile screen for notifications at a rate of 352 times a day, or what is the same, once every 2 minutes and 43 seconds. All nonsense in terms of productivity and time wasted constantly and irrevocably.

Why do we look at our mobile phone so much? Beyond the rational concern of coming to notice that might be important, what experts have called FOMO (for the English acronym for Fear of Missing Out) comes into play. This syndrome responds to the inexhaustible feeling of missing something, by not paying attention to the mobile phone, but also to the need for a dose of dopamine when it is discovered that you keep receiving an Instagram photo. I admire you.

New Oasis: Get rid of notifications

Given this circumstance, trying to read a book in a relaxed manner is a very ambitious undertaking, unless you have unbreakable willpower. And what to say if reading a novel on a tablet or even worse on the phone itself. Some may think that putting the phone on silent mode or mode do not disturb It will keep you isolated from notifications and focus on another activity. Big mistake: A group of researchers from Penn State University found that canceling notifications only makes things worse and the screen is consulted more, just in case.

What do you do next? The only solution, though drastic and effective, is to eliminate the possibility of receiving notifications. Come on, the device, by design, has no alerts. An aberration in a society that increasingly relies on notifications, which even reach the wrists of their users through smartwatches.

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Norwegian Magnus Wanberg experienced the tyranny of notifications firsthand while studying at university, to the point of deciding to leave his cell phone and laptop at home and only equip himself with a notebook and pen at university. This decision, in the end, would change his life, since it was the seed that would later revive the reMarkable, an electronic ink tablet that has sold over a million units and is in its second edition.

Wanberg evades the annoyance of notifications by going back to basics: notepad and pen, and that’s what an e-ink tablet does, albeit with some interesting technological innovations that make it a class of its own:

Monocolor and touch screen technology electronic ink

This type of screen simulates the paper experience so faithfully, that sound and touch, when moving a stylus on the screen, are almost identical. On the other hand, the electronic ink technology allows for minimal battery consumption, so it can last several days on a single charge.

E-book readers are the best reference for this technology, and owners know that, unlike the screens of cell phones and tablets, they can be read in direct sunlight.

Some devices do not have notifications

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this new category of products is the complete absence of interruptions caused by notifications. E-ink tablets are only used for taking notes and reading documents or e-books; There is no window to interrupt us, and they, of course, lack social networks.

“A notification can generate a wide range of feelings and chemical reactions related to dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and cortisol. Its effects can range from pleasure and excitement to stress and anxiety, and can be addictive,” explains Ignacia Arruabarrena, associate professor in the Department of Social Psychology at the University of the Basque Country. , to EL PAÍS.

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“Repeated attention to notifications can lead to a conditioning process that triggers an involuntary response, such that even though a person is in the middle of something really important, they reach for their mobile phone when they know they have received a notification. It is very difficult to ignore a notification, whether it is visually or audibly.

Amazon is fully entering this market

reMarkable leads the e-ink tablet market almost single-handedly, and the second iteration of its product has completely eliminated the initial flaws of the first model. This exciting device offers a platform where the user, through gestures and full integration with other devices, can manage their annotations. The advantage of this manufacturer is the combination of simplicity of the product (a tablet with a pencil) and the capabilities of a powerful working tool.

The user has a palette of various tools for writing or drawing (pen, marker, pencils…); You can cut and paste drawings and move them between different notebooks and it has several templates to start a new project on. Thus, it can be used as a calendar, as a task agenda, or simply as a notepad with different designs. Finally, cloud sync makes it easy to share these notes with other users as PDFs. reMarkable has seamlessly integrated functionality To participate to your mobile applications, so you can attach a notebook to almost any application.

The Norwegian start-up opened the ban on e-ink notebooks, but it’s Amazon’s recent entry into that market that has boosted it. Jeff Bezos has broken into it with the versatile Kindle Scribe, a vitamin e-book reader with a stylus and the ability to act as a notepad. The approach to the North American segment is curious, since starting with the same devices, they offer the user added value to what is truly their forte: the Kindle book library.

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The Kindle Scribe plays its tricks skillfully: on the one hand, it’s the largest e-reader for books in the home (and, as we pointed out, with access to the huge Kindle library), but on the other hand it includes a function called “Notebook”, which is where the reMarkable market is going to get really scratched. . Amazon’s entry into the e-laptop segment confirms that there is life beyond traditional tablets, though there’s still a long way to go in terms of the platform.

Thus, reMarkable has an operating system full of functionality and already proven on the market, while Amazon initially offers a less complete platform. Although Scribe is expected to integrate functionality in successive releases until it comes face to face with the Norwegian device. Scribe, on the other hand, has a powerful effector up its sleeve: a backlit display that makes it possible to use it without the need for external lighting, something its rebranding lacks.

The electronic ink tablets represent an interesting return to basics and functionality, an escape from the oversaturation of stimuli from social networks and other notifications in which the user loses most of his time.

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