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Belgian daily De Tijd is to be distributed electronically in what is claimed to be the first complete solution for portable electronic reading and writing.

Available from April 2006, the Iliad platform allows for customised versions of an electronic reader that can be created for special markets.

Dutch manufacturer iRex Technologies BV, a spin-off from Royal Philips Electronics with backing secured from major independent equity investors, was also involved with the first commercially available E Ink display in 2004, an electronic book reader by Sony.

Since 2001 Philips and US based E Ink Corporation have been developing electrophoretic technology for thin displays, whereby oppositely charged bright and dark particles move through a clear solution. If bright particles are moved forward, the perceived image is bright. If dark particles are moved forward, the perceived image is dark.

The electronic paper will get its content from various sources, using a Wi-Fi connection or flash memory cards. The 8.1 inch display with 16 grey levels ensures excellent legibility both indoors and outdoors, the company claims. The battery runs for 14 days.

iRex is working on additional projects with other publishers in Sweden, the UK and the USA later next year. The device won't be available in retail, but is offered only through content channels. CEO Hans Brons says his company will focus explicitly on B2B partners: for news, educational and professional publishers.

The device will be able to offer always up-to-date information and the low cost structure should make it easier to reach and even define new markets, Brons says.®

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