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Insert Coin: Kapsule Lightstand puts your Kindle Keyboard in the spotlight

Brian Heater

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In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

There are plenty of benefits to e-ink displays, they're clean, easy on the eyes, light on the battery draining and can be read in direct sunlight, unlike their LCD brethren. There are a number of downsides as well, of course, including the lack of backlighting, making them tough to read in a dark room. Several companies have attempted to capitalize on this shortcoming, with clip-on accessories that are sometimes awkward and unwieldy when attached to tiny e-readers. Though, for the record, some have managed to get things right, like Amazon's own Lighted Leather Cover for the fourth-gen Kindle.

Brooklyn-based Pieco offers up an interesting solution to the problem of illuminating e-ink, whilst addressing yet another concern: standing the thing up for hands-free reading. The Kapsule Lightstand clips on to the rear of the Kindle Keyboard (the artist formerly known as the Kindle 3) and features goosenecks that jut out from the top and bottom. The top one is retractable and houses the light. Pull it out and the light turns on, push it back in and it turns off. The bottom gooseneck, meanwhile, serves as an adjustable stand, so you can prop the reader up while eating a sandwich, or whatever it is that people do while reading.

The Kapsule grips on the side of the last-gen reader, careful not to obstruct its physical page turn buttons. It adds some thickness to the rear of the device, giving you something to hold onto while reading. The Kapsule draws power from the Kindle itself and promises to use 25 to 50-percent less power than Amazon's own Portfolio light.

At present, the Kapsule has $920 pledged toward its $40,000 goal with 36 days left to get in on its illuminating action. Pledging $1 or more will get you access to files for building your own. $40 or more gets you your very own Kapsule.

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