Frequently Asked Questions – iRex Digital Reader 1000
Q: What are the technical specifications of the iRex Digital Reader 1000?
A: The technical specification can found here: http://www.irextechnologies.com/irexdr1000/specs
Q: Does the iRex Digital Reader 1000 feature SDHC support?
A: The iRex Digital Reader 1000 is able to recognize and work with all compliant SD cards. Officially we do not support SDHC cards but we have noticed that most SDHC cards do work.
Q: Which Wacom® features will be available on the iRex Digital Reader 1000 S?
A: In addition to making handwritten notes we are looking to add support for the eraser function found on the professional stylus. Pressure sensitivity and tilt is supported by the hardware, however it will require additional development and testing before we will decide to enable these functions.
Q: What improvements were made in regard to the battery life compared to the previous model?
A: We have developed a complete new hardware platform that is able to support a variety of advanced power management functions. In the current software version we shut down all IO devices that are not used for a specific amount of time. In a next software version we will add a stand-by mode and a hibernate mode. In stand-by mode the reader will scale down the frequency and voltage, in hibernate the reader will suspend to FLASH mode.
Q: Is there a suspend mode?
A: Yes, suspend to RAM mode and suspend to FLASH mode will be introduced as part of the advanced power management functionalities as described above.
Q: What is the expected battery life?
A: This depends very much on the usage model of course. For more information on battery life please visit: http://www.irextechnologies.com/batteries. With the advanced power management functionalities like stand-by mode and hibernate, battery life will not be an issue.
Q: Are there any improvements made in the display technology or controller?
A: Yes. First of all the iLiad and the iRex Digital Reader 1000 models are using Vizplex™ imaging film from E-Ink Corporation. For the iRex Digital Reader 1000 series we are using a modified version of our proprietary Delta display controller and the main improvement is the interface speed to transfer an image from memory to the display controller, this speed has been improved more than 10 times.
Q: Has anything been done to the screen to address the durability issue? And is the display still utilizing a glass substrate material?
A: The display is still utilizing a glass substrate material like all E-Ink based display on the market today, however we have developed a new mechanical architecture that has been designed to improve the product rigidity and to reduce the chance on glass breakage.
Q: What is the boot time?
A: Currently a cold boot time takes about 50 seconds, and with the advanced power management, waking up from stand-by mode will take approx 1 second, and from the hibernate mode approx 15 seconds.
Q: How do you charge the device?
A: Using the mini USB port, you can charge the reader by connecting it to a powered PC or an USB wall adapter.
Q: Will there be a travel hub or docking station?
A: No, a travel hub like with the iLiad will not be needed as you can charge using the Mini USB connector. At this time we have no plans to develop a docking station.
Q: What is the length and width of both device and screen?
A: The reader measures 217x268x12mm, the display measures 10.2″ diagonal with 1024×1280 square pixels.
Q: What has been done to make the interface more user friendly?
A: We have designed a complete new interface concept that will feel more familiar and intuitive. For instance you can now start your applications from the home screen and you can add additional shortcuts to your folders and documents on this home screen. The way the content is presented has also changed a lot; you will now be able to choose between a thumbnail view and a list view.
Navigating the device is done by the capacitive keys or the stylus and via a menu screen that is easily accessible; you will have access to all possible commands that are available in the current view or document.
Q: Will the iRex Digital Reader 1000 and 1000 S run the same software?
A: The iRex Digital Reader 1000 and 1000 S will run the same software however there will be some functions that are disabled on the iRex Digital Reader 1000 because they require stylus input. The supported file formats will be the same for each version.
Q: How will user interaction change on the 1000 and 1000 S versions?
A: The user interface will be similar in both versions, you will be able to navigate and use the menu and the different functions using the capacitive buttons and /or the stylus.
Q: What document formats will be supported natively on the device?
A: At this moment you can expect to find native support for PDF, Mobipocket PRC, TXT, HTML, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIF, BMP.
Q: Will there be any additional formats supported in the future and how will this work?
A: Yes I imagine that additional format support will be added over time. We have separated functions from formats. A specific content format is rendered in the memory by a small rendering engine. The functions like zoom or bookmark are controlled by our Universal Document Shell or UDS. The UDS will load the correct rendering engine and tells it which page to render in the memory. When a specific function is not available for a specific format (e.g. increase font size in PDF), the UDS will disable this function in the menu.
This way third party developers will be able to easy add content plug-ins, which will be stored on the memory as add-ons. The advantage of this approach is that the user experience and interface will be consistent over all applications. Currently we support a PDF, Mobipocket, TXT and image plug-in.
Q: Are there any plans to add Adobe Digital Editions and/or or ePUB support?
A: As explained above, our open platform allows easy addition of content rendering engines and we support any third party developer willing to add these formats.
Q: How will users be able to copy their documents to the device?
A: By connecting the reader to the PC using an USB cable, your PC will recognized the reader as a mass storage device and launch the pre-installed Windows application from the memory. This program allows you to manage the files and folders on the SD-card. Also Windows Explorer can be used (or any other program) to add content to the card.
Any additional information that has been added to the file on the device (e.g. annotations) is stored in a database located in each folder on the SD-card, since Windows Explored can not work with these databases the pre-installed Windows application should be used for exporting files from the card to external device so that annotations (for example) can first be merged in a new document before exporting it.
Q: Is there support for Linux and Mac and how will it work with these operating systems?
A: The device will be recognized as a mass storage device but the pre-installed Windows application from the SD-card will not be functional. (Note: Users will be able to find the Mobipocket PID in the About screen of the iRex Digital Reader.)
Q: In what facility has Bluetooth been implemented?
A: The main function is to setup a data connection to a 3G enabled mobile phone (dial-up) in order to connect to the internet. Other functions can be added depending customer requests.
Q: What functionalities can we expect and in which formats? For example will there be a Search, Dictionary and Bookmarks functionality?
• Remember last read page
• Change font size
• Zoom selection (custom area and pre-defined zoom levels)
• Auto crop content (remove border white space)
• Fit page to screen
• Landscape and portrait reading mode
• Continuous and page-by-page reading mode
• Show pages as thumbnails
• Full screen reading mode (no page- and toolbar)
• Back and forward in viewed pages
• Table of content
• Create/remove a bookmark on a page
• Table of bookmarks
• Search in the document
• Write and erase comments (handwritten annotations)
• Change the pen thickness
• Mobipocket dictionary support from any content format
Q: How does the paperless print feature exactly work?
A: On the SD-card an iRex Digital Reader 1000 Windows Printer is available that can be installed on your PC. After the installation the iRex Digital Reader 1000 printer will be added to your list of printers, and you can print from any Windows based application to this printer. The file (in PDF format) can be saved on the local disk or directly on the device when it is connected to your PC.
Q: When will the iRex Digital Reader 1000 SW version be available?
A: This will be announced at a later stage.
Q: Will there be a web browser on the device and if so which one and will it support Java?
A: Yes, the iRex Digital Reader 1000 SW will have a limited browser (web-kit based). It will support text and images, non-supported formats (e.g. flash) will be replaced by content that can be displayed (static images) or ignored. It supports java scripting, radio buttons, checkboxes, input fields, buttons and downloading files.
Q: What about iDS, will there be any new features introduced to utilize the connectivity of the iRex Digital Reader 1000 SW?
A: Our iRex Delivery Service will remain operational to deliver content directly to your reader using an internet connection (1000 SW) or using the PC as intermediate (for all readers). Next to the global iDS we offer a local iDS that can be hosted by a third party to deliver content to a selected set of devices (licensed based).
Q: Will users to be able to download and purchase books, newspapers and RSS feeds directly on the device?
A: Using the browser on the iRex Digital Reader 1000 SW this is possible.
Q: Will the newspaper partners adept the iRex Digital Reader 1000 and how will this impact the e-paper edition?
A: The iRex Digital Reader 1000 series and iDS are available for any partner that wants to benefit from using digital paper. If required, customization can take place on project base.
Q: Can we expect any additional newspapers to publish an e-paper edition in the near future?
A: We will leave any announcement to our partners.
Q: What operating system is the device running?
A: Linux 2.6.24
Q: What tools will be provided to developers for modifying the device?
A: ARMv6 emulation system on the PC based on Qemu with EPD emulation, Anjuta IDE with cross-compile support and deployment to emulator / hardware.
Q: Will any of the internal applications be open sourced?
A: Yes, most of them. Some are closed since they contain proprietary code but these are still available in the environment to be used by third party developers.
Q: How are new supported formats added to the device?
A: See above. An example is available to demonstrate how to interface to the Universal Document Shell.
Q: Can you give some details about the universal document system or viewer framework?
A: See above
Q: Will all users have the ability to run 3rd party software out of the box or is there a need to install a developer package like with the iLiad?
A: Custom application can be build using the SDK, the executable can be stored on the SD-card and started using a link in the Home location. The SDK will be available in the first week of October.
Q: Has the process for installing 3rd party applications been streamlined or standardized?
A: See above
Q: Will factory restore functionality be built into every device?
A: Yes, (full) installations are executed by saving the old, new or custom version to the SD-card. After a cold reboot the device is programmed with this version. The latest version can always be downloaded from our website.
Q: Do you still plan to build a developer community around the device?
A: We would like this very much but we lack the time and resources to fully support this. If the community initiate and maintains this we will provide any technical information and support we can spare. We would like the community to work on additional format support (e.g. CBR/CBZ, ePub, Open office) and additional application (e.g. RSS reader, mail, agenda, contacts, to-do). If projects can be organized in this line of thinking we are willing to provide additional support.
Q: Will iRex continue to support the iLiad with new firmware?
A: We will continue to support the iLiad but we have no immediate plans to add new functionalities.
Q: Will the iRex iLiad and iRex Digital Reader 1000 be sold together, or is the iLiad being phased out?
A: The iLiad series will be continued next to the iRex 1000 series, each of these series are addressing a different user group and both product ranges are part of our suite of e-reader products.
Q: Will any of the new software programs be back ported to the iLiad?
A: No, for this the iLiad and the DR1000 hardware infrastructure differ too much.