Sharp’s New XMDF Format

Sharp has created a new standard for eBooks, which would provide an experience more similar to that of the iPad. The new standard is aimed towards enriching the eReader experience.

Most current eReaders are fairly static. A simple black and white or near black and white screen is about all there is to it. Some new devices are creeping into the eReader market, offering the same functionality, with many more features. Instead of a dedicated eReader, devices such as the iPad offer browsing, entertainment, and an eReader in full color. The emergence of new devices similar to the iPad are closing that gap between dedicated eReader and Tablet PCs.

The eXtending Mobile Document Format, or XMDF, enables video, animations, and flashy presentation alongside text. Along with this new standard, Sharp introduced 5.5 and 10.8-inch prototype eReaders, showing off their new XMDF standard. More details about the actual hardware of the two devices are expected to be revealed later this year.

Are there any advantages of a dedicated eReader, such as the Amazon Kindle over a tablet like the Apple iPad? If you are solely looking for a reading experience without all of the extra frills, devices like the Amazon Kindle excel in areas that current tablets do not. Most notably, battery life tends to be significantly longer on eReaders. The Kindle can operate on a single charge for around a week with wireless turned on and nearly two weeks without wireless. Apple claims the iPad only lasts a maximum of 10 hours. Some people prefer the screen found on eReaders, which closely resembles that of an actual book or periodical. Backlit screens tend to be hard on the eyes. However, these advantages are no longer fully unique to dedicated eReaders. With products like the Pixel Qi display, long battery life and E-Ink displays are coming to a range of new devices, such as netbooks.

With Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook apps being available for Apple’s iOS 4 devices, its seems as though both companies may be feeling the pressure to adopt a more interactive eReader platform.

Via Engadget