Trending: Amazon responds to investigation revealing thousands of banned and unsafe items on its marketplace
A lighted leather case accessory, one of the current solutions used to illuminate a Kindle at night.

One of the down sides of traditional E Ink, used in devices such as Amazon Kindle e-readers, is the inability to read in the dark without some kind of accessory. As an owner of an official Kindle Lighted Leather Cover — which sells for a whopping $50 — I can attest to the fact that even this isn’t a perfect solution, given its uneven illumination of the screen, from the upper-right corner of the device.

We’re unlikely to see Amazon do a back-lit screen on one of its traditional e-readers, given Jeff Bezos’ past remarks comparing the experience to shining flashlights in your eyes when you’re reading.

But maybe Amazon has come up with a solution. Devin Coldewey, a TechCrunch contributor who lives in Seattle, writes that he spotted a device that appeared to be a prototype next-generation Kindle with a built-in front-lit screen in the wild.

The device I saw was crudely camouflaged in a sort of cardboard enclosure, but the screen was clearly visible. With a tap, a slider popped up on the screen, and as it was dragged to the right, the screen lit up evenly with a rather cool light. In the dark, it was plainly noticeable as a glow, and in uneven light — say, shade or a shuttered room — the slight illumination made the screen much more readable. At full blast it was definitely projecting some light (technically speaking it was reflecting it), but it was still a soft glow and not the harsh flashlight of a backlit LCD.

There’s no way to confirm the authenticity of what he saw, but on behalf of nighttime readers everywhere, here’s hoping it’s true.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

Computer Science InstructorRenton Technical College
IT DirectorRad Power Bikes
Cloud UX/UI React.js DeveloperMaxset Worldwide Inc.
Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.