Nook Touch Hack Supercharges Eink Refresh Rate

It's by no means perfect -- in fact, it looks pretty damn ugly -- but thanks to a bit of ingenuity, a hack is now available to speed up the refresh rate of Barnes & Noble's Nook Touch eink reader. It's fast enough that you could consider it close to real-time, but, as you've probably guessed, there's a catch.

The hack comes to us via xda-developers, a forum whose users have a reputation for doing this sort of thing... to put it mildly. According to the creator, known as "marspeople", the fast-refresh mode is built into the device, it just isn't normally available.

The downside, as you'll see in the video, is that only 1-bit colour is supported. 1-bit is exactly what it sounds like -- black and white (though "on and off" would be more accurate). While not the best mode to play something like Angry Birds in, it is surprisingly playable, going by the demo clip, and reading isn't affected too badly, if you don't mind the lack of anti-aliasing on the text.

Eink readers featuring fast response times aren't new -- ebook specialist Bookeen came up with the hardware and software last year. However, this is the first time it's been made available on a cheap reader like the Nook Touch.

If you happen to be in possession of a rooted NT, via eBay or some other avenue, you can have a go at applying the hack yourself. This will allow you to turn the mode on or off using gestures, so you can use to however you like.

[The Digital Reader]