Sony has told TechRadar it is considering full colour Readers for the next generation of eBooks.

The electronics giant has just released the Sony Reader Touch and the Sony Reader Pocket for the UK market, along with a 3G version for the US, but it's not always, ahem, going to be so black and white.

Speaking at the launch of the Touch and the Pocket, Sony's UK Product Manager for the Reader, Wes Dearing, admitted that bringing a bit of colour to the Reader brand was far from outlandish.

"We are assessing [colour]," he said. "We have to work out if the public are happy with grey scale papers or want colour.

Giving the option

"If the consumers demand it; if they are saying 'we want colour Readers' then of course we will listen and provide that option," he added.

Colour is more problematical in eBooks than a normal screen, with the E Ink used basically made up from positively charged white particles and negatively charged black ones in a clear fluid.

When a charge is applied across the screen, the particles can be aligned to form letters and patterns and once in place no further charge is needed until the page is turned.

Colour E Ink does exist, but it is far from ready for the consumer market. To work a colour filter is placed over the top of the black and white display made up of red, green, blue and white sub-pixels.

This leads to a much reduced brightness of display, and the need for a much higher resolution – which is more expensive to produce.