Although this is not directly related to ePub it could have big consequences in the future. There was a post over at DigiTimes.com (thanks to mobileread.com for picking this up) on PVI’s plans to “double its capacity for electrophoretic display (EPD)”, if you’re not sure what these are then take a look at the nearest Kindle or Sony Reader screen!
There’s no ETA on when they will start production of the E-Ink/VizPlex screens but the indications are that it could be sometime this year.
Currently there’s a lot of debate around the net on the ‘apparent’ short supply of VizPlex screens, with luck this will put an end to the shortage and no doubt allow even more dedicated readers to be developed.
What does this have to do with ePub? The way I see it, if there are more machines out there in the market place we’ll likely see more support for ePub books, this will then create more pressure for publishers to produce titles in the .epub format. With luck consumers will start to demand a format that is cross-platform compatible (with or without DRM), allowing them to read not only on their dedicated Reader, PDA or smartphone, but also on their PC or MAC…helping to bring down The Tower of eBabel.