Are two screens on an e-reader better than one?

The promise of e-readers is great — replacing all your books with one, light device — but they've been around for a while and last I checked my neighborhood Barnes & Noble was doing just fine. A team of researchers at Maryland and Berkeley Universities thinks part of what's holding e-readers back is that people use books in many subtle ways beyond simple reading page to page — quickly navigating through a book visually by flipping through it, for example. Their solution: create an e-reader with two screens, so it works and feels more like a book. In the video above, the guys show us how a dual-screen reader is more intuitive than other readers on the market today.

The dual-screen reader is a great step forward for the category, but I doubt the appeal of the time-honored book could ever be simulated — even with multiple razor-thin OLED pages. People just like having books. And then there's the smell. Still, e-readers could go a long way toward replacing textbooks and magazines someday, and this prototype is the best candidate we've seen for that. Keep it going, guys.

New Scientist, via Technovelgy