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A TechCruncher recently got a sneak peak at a new Kindle under development in Amazon’s labs, and although most of the device was apparently hidden under cardboard, the premier feature was exposed: a glowing screen.

In late 2010, it seems, Amazon snapped up lighting technology company Oy Modilis and its many patents (and talent) and is working on integrating lighting to the Kindle’s screen. The lighting element will be inserted as a layer in the screen and use energy-efficient LEDs; the whole effect promises to be easier on the eyes than LCD screens used on tablets.

New Kindle design concept (Image credit: TechCrunch)

There’s no video of any sort--yet--but Techcrunch’s Devin Coldewey described the experience thusly:
With a tap, a slider popped up on the screen, and as it was dragged to the right, the screen lit up evenly with a rather cool light. In the dark, it was plainly noticeable as a glow, and in uneven light — say, shade or a shuttered room — the slight illumination made the screen much more readable. At full blast it was definitely projecting some light (technically speaking it was reflecting it), but it was still a soft glow and not the harsh flashlight of a backlit LCD.
He also noted that the device is still under development, so plenty could change between now and when we actually see a lighted screen on some future generation of the Kindle, but in the meantime, we’ll ogle the concept photo and dream.

It shows again how much space that Kindle gets to the next generation meanwhile to keep it as much minimal as it can be. Smart dudes.


Hmm part of my attraction to the Kindle was that it did not contain a backlight so it did not effect sleep patterns. Hopefully they will have a way to turn the LED lighting off when it is not needed. Plus the battery life won't be as good unless they make it larger like Apple had to do with the "new" iPad