Sunday, May 31, 2009
3 Screens In One could Kill Single Screen eReaders
Imagine a screen that operates in different modes; full colour, bright and conventional LCD; a very low-power, sunlight-readable, reflective e-paper mode; and a low-power, basic colour transflective mode. If successful, the displays could effectively bridge the high-speed, full-color benefits of traditional LCDs and the low-power, reader-friendly qualities of electronic ink displays. They could drive netbook sales and deliver new readers free from the current eink reader straightjacket.
Having designed the One Laptop Per Child’s (OLPC) reflective screen, Pixel Qi founder and CTO, Mary Lou Jepsen has good credentials and has posted the first pictures of the new 10.1” 3Qi display on her blog and plans to show engineering samples at Computex Taipei 2009.
The screens are initially expected to be available in 10.5-inch and 7.5-inch screen sizes and Jepson predicts will be available in the second half of the year in netbooks and e-book readers. A lot depends on the price of the 3Qi and if Jepsen can deliver close to regular LCD netbook panels, standalone LCD and e-ink panels might have a hard time justifying their existence.
E-reader makers have reason to fear such innovation because people will be able to buy devices with more functions for about the same price.