E Ink on a phone? That's different. Omar Khan at Samsung Mobile has answered some questions about using E Ink technology on Samsung's new Alias 2 mobile phone for Verizon Wireless. Here is the interview with the Samsung executive:
"Q: How does the Alias 2 differ from the original u740/Alias? A: The dual-hinge design is a popular and award-winning form factor for Samsung Mobile. Alias 2 continues on the success of the Alias design, allowing a fully functional flip phone and a messaging-centric QWERTY fold form-factor. We believe the Alias 2 also is the first handset in the U.S. to bring E Ink technology in a mobile handset, which presents a simplified keypad that automatically changes which keys are shown depending on the functions being used. E Ink is the most visible of a range of usability enhancements, including larger, more spaced out keys, threaded messaging, and more user memory for even more text messages. Samsung has also improved the mode-shifting software, so if a user initiates a function in flip phone mode, but decides they want to use the QWERTY keypad, such as with the music player and Web browser, the software and the keypad will re-orient the application on the fly.
Q: How does the E Ink keyboard work?
A: Innovative E Ink technology helps power the Alias 2?s keypad which dynamically transforms from a traditional 3?4 number pad to a full QWERTY depending on the orientation of the phone. This improves on the user experience in both modes ? regular keypad mode or messaging mode - because there is no need for double printing. With E Ink, users still receive tactile feedback of a normal keyboard, with the flexibility of a virtual keyboard.
E Ink technology is similar to technology used in electronic book readers and is a very power efficient technology because it only consumes power in changing from QWERTY to number mode.
Q: What are the benefits of having an E Ink keyboard on a mobile phone? A: E Ink allows a ?best of both world?s? experience. A user can have a dedicated flip phone, and they can have a dedicated QWERTY messaging phone, in the same device. This phone is perfect for people who don?t want to compromise.
Q: Does the Alias 2 have any other new features? A: The Alias2 has a variety of new features including support for RemoSync, so customers can synchronize corporate e-mail, contacts, and calendars from their office computer. The Alias 2 also includes an upgrade to a 2 megapixel camera, stereo speakers, improved soft keys, a dynamic photo editor, document viewer and extended battery."
Our review of the Samsung Alias 2 is coming. Stay tuned.