With over a decade of ereader design behind them, Bookeen is the oldest surviving ereader maker in the world, and they're not slowing down.
Yesterday Bookeen announced a new partnership with Sunpartner Technologies, a French solar panel maker. The two companies are going to cooperate to add Sunpartner's transparent solar panel tech to Bookeen's next ereader.
For the past 5 years Sunpartner Technologies has been developing a new photovoltaic tech which is designed to go over a mobile device's screen and provide power.
The idea behind this tech is that mobile devices have limited surface area, much of which is taken up by the screen. Just about the only place to put a solar panel on a tablet/smartphone/ereader is on the back, and that's a problem. Given that you generally hold a mobile device with the screen up and the rear facing down, that's not going to prove very effective as a power source.
You could put the solar panel on the cover of a mobile device, like we found with cases for a couple Kindle models, but with Wysips you can put the solar panel on top of the screen. Like so:
As you can clearly see, the Wysips panel degrades the screen quality. But that image is 4 years old, and the Wysips has probably advanced considerably since then, so I wouldn't assume that Bookeen's new ereader will have similar issues.
According to the press release, the new ereader will be released some time in 2016.