Think the Sony Reader Daily Edition is big and the Kindle DX is a monster? Well, if you really want to test the definition of portable, check out these mammoth, color e-Paper tablets from Bridgestone. That's right, Bridgestone -the company that makes tires. Makes perfect sense. Actually, the company has been plugging away on this sort of technology for a few years now so this news isn't coming completely out of left field.
Part of the Bridgestone's AeroBee line, the biggest of the bunch is A3 paper sized; according to the company, that makes it the world's largest e-paper solution. That's a 19-inch diagonal display! Bridgestone hasn't been very forthcoming with press photos (just that little teaser above), but Japanese news site Akihabara has plenty of snaps here from the recent Display 2011 conference. Before you get too excited, Bridgestone appears to be targeting the business market with the AeroBee line, positioning the tablets as a display terminal or kiosk display. No consumer model has been announced, although the company does list "e-books" among the possible applications for an AeroBee. The displays are capable of 4,096 colors, however the brightness is pretty washed out (in other words, don't expect these to 'pop' like a backlit LCD), so the suitability for displaying magazine and other graphics-rich content is probably limited, at least for now. Personally, I think this device -or maybe the more compact (but still big) A4 version- could have a future as the elusive e-reader text book replacement.
Bridgestone is working on flexible e-paper technology as well, so maybe in a few years you can toss the Kindle, roll up a 19-inch Bridgestone e-reader and stuff it in your back pocket. At least you wouldn't have to worry about dropping it.