Tue 22nd of November 2011, filed under Internet News
Blurring and freezing
Several owners of the Amazon Kindle e-book reader have taken to internet forums and the press to complain about damage to their devices after passing through airport baggage x-ray scanners.
A report by UK national newspaper The Daily Telegraph, followed by a further story by the Daily Mail, included details from multiple travellers who said their Kindles suffered similar problems after being subjected to standard air travel security measures.
Damage complaints range from blurred and burned screens to freezes in function.
Amazon itself is unconvinced by the claims and has stated that airport x-ray radiation exposure should not cause any problems.
Build up of static
The Daily Telegraph spoke to Professor Daping Chu, chairman of the centre for advanced phototronics at Cambridge University, who indicated that it was possible for such machines to cause a problem - but not due to radiation.
"You can get a build up of static inside these machines, caused by the rubber belt rubbing," said Professor Chu. "If that charge were to pass through a Kindle, it's conceivable that it could damage the screen."
The Kindle has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity since its introduction to the market in 2007. The latest model, the Kindle Fire, was unveiled in September this year - and Gene Munster, a leading analyst with US investment bank Piper Jaffray, predicted that four million units will be sold during the festive shopping period.
Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "At present the claims of damage appear to be speculative and as yet there is no definitive evidence to suggest airport scanners are to blame for these problems.
"However, Amazon may need to take further steps to reassure consumers. Kindles are incredibly popular among holidaymakers and commuters, who will no doubt be concerned by the notion of severe disruption to their travelling reading plans."
Posted by Liane Baddeley