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Handhelds Displays Hardware

Flexible, Color OLED Screens For E-Readers 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-waiting-on-a-kindle-killer dept.
nadiskafadi writes "Taiwanese researchers have shown off several flexible display technologies in an endeavor to promote e-readers and e-paper. One of the newest technologies from the Industrial Technology Research Institute was a flexible 4.1-inch color OLED (organic light emitting diode) display, which it claims is for the next era of portable devices."
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Flexible, Color OLED Screens For E-Readers

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  • by Oscar_Wilde (170568) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @02:18AM (#30253026) Homepage

    Oh for goodness sake!

    The last thing you want in an e-reader is for it to be light emitting. There's a reason we're putting so much effort into developing better eInk displays.

    The only people who don't seem to understand this are the ones who don't read much or haven't read much on an eInk screen. It's a huge improvement over anything that works by shining light directly into your eyes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dan East (318230)

      Yeah, I've always wondered about that. If you go back a mere 130 years, the only sources of emitted light a person would ever see (off the top of my head) were:

      Sun
      Fire
      Stars
      Lightening
      Auroras
      Lightening bugs, etc
      Foxfire, etc
      Fish (or were they too deep then?)

      So everything the human eye ever saw was reflected light. Since the advent of the television, people began watching and focusing on emitted light directly, and computers, cell phones, etc have taken that even further.

      So what, if anything, does that mean t

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ifandbut (1328775)

        Well, until we can get E-ink displays to reflect color instead of just gray scale then our only option is light emissions biased displays.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Well, until we can get E-ink displays to reflect color instead of just gray scale then our only option is light emissions biased displays.

          No, there are two options: Light emitting color displays or gray-scale non-emitting displays. The latter option is preferable in e-readers for the time being.

          • Even better is the Pixel Qi displays [geek.com], which have a backlight switch. When off, the display is reflective and at least as easy to read as an e-ink display. With backlight on, it displays color video with usable refresh rates. I'm super-excited about ARM-based color multi-touch net-tablets with multi-day battery life when in E-book mode. Pop it into it's charging stand, and you have a netbook with wireless keyboard. Our family may need one for each of us.

          • The Fujitsu Flepia [fastcompany.com] has a color e-ink display. It's both expensive and slow.

        • by jimfrost (58153) *
          Color e-ink devices will be out next year. I haven't seen any yet, although e-ink was demonstrating them a year and a half ago and people I know said they looked good. I'm dubious because the current screens have that grey tint, and that would make many pictures muddy, but even a little color would go a long way.

          In any case many technologies will be employed in e-books over the next few years, you'll be able to pick and choose. I already use LCD and e-ink....

          • Colour eInk has been out for a while, but it's the same resolution as monochrome eInk. That means that instead of 166 shade-of-grey dots per inch you get 55 shade-of-cyan dots, 55 shade-of-magenta and 55 shade-of-yellow dots per inch, which looks ugly when you try to use it for text. You really want 300dpi, at least, for colour eInk (which gives 100ppi) to be useful.

            The best solution with current technology is transparent OLED over monochrome eInk. You can then overlay bright images and video over reada

      • by bertok (226922) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @02:53AM (#30253140)

        Yeah, I've always wondered about that. If you go back a mere 130 years, the only sources of emitted light a person would ever see (off the top of my head) were:

        Sun
        Fire
        Stars
        Lightening
        Auroras
        Lightening bugs, etc
        Foxfire, etc
        Fish (or were they too deep then?)

        So everything the human eye ever saw was reflected light. Since the advent of the television, people began watching and focusing on emitted light directly, and computers, cell phones, etc have taken that even further.

        So what, if anything, does that mean to human vision?

        Absolutely nothing, light is light, irrespective of the source.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Exactly, you don't see objects, chairs, tables, buildings, you see the light emitted by them.

          • by daveime (1253762)

            You don't even see that, you see the light *reflected* by them.

            Chairs, Tables, Buildings are not light sources (except possibly Chairs thrown by Ballmer, those can make you see stars).

        • by Dan East (318230)

          Thank you, Einstein.

          Light has properties. Polarization, intensity, wavelength, etc, which are all affected by reflection. Even then, before the creation of mirrors, reflection was primarily diffuse, with the exception of the surface of very smooth and dark water. Simply put, there is an unbelievably vast difference in the property of the light emitted from an LCD panel compared to anything ever generated by nature before. Nothing was ever so pure and homogeneous in its precisely controlled variance.

          My poi

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mark-t (151149)

          Light may be light, irrespective of the source, but we process visual information not merely by number of the photons that reach our eyes, but also largely by the differential between them in adjacent points in an image... thus, a light emitting display appears washed out by a brighter light source because it cannot produce enough light of its own to produce useful contrast in the region of interest (the display). Even though such a display itself may be perfectly illuminated by sunlight physically, the i

          • Well, actually...

            With the OLED super-displays of the future you could have an ambient light sensor that would increase the brightness of the image relative to ambient light. It would have to get pretty stupidly bright to be readable in direct sunlight, though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by camperdave (969942)
        Don't forget Humphrey Davies' invention, the incandescent light bulb. It's over 200 years old, or his other invention, the carbon arc lamp, also 200 years old. Although, would the arc lamp be considered lightning?
        • Although, would the arc lamp be considered lightning?

          Yes. A florescent light is an arc lamp

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            No it isn't. Arc lamps feature an actual electric arc, but in a fluorescent light the gas is simply stimulated to the point where it emits photons, most of which are in the UV range. Then they strike the phosphor coating, exciting it to the point where it emits its own photons, which unlike those from the gas in the tube consist mostly of visible light. While a filament lamp heats the filament itself until it glows, releasing photons which are in the visible range, the light from an arc lamp is produced whe

            • Your facts cannot shake my faith that fluorescent lighting is powered by the breath of invisible pink unicorns.
              • by daveime (1253762)

                Despite the myth that invisible pink unicorns last for 100,000 years, in practice you'll find they die after about 6 months, AND cost about 3 times the price of regular unicorns.

                Plus you can't dispose of the dead invisible pink unicorns in landfills, as they decompose into all kinds of nasty shit.

                • Plus you can't dispose of the dead invisible pink unicorns in landfills, as they decompose into all kinds of nasty shit.

                  Can't? or Shouldn't?

                  I doubt there are more than 10 people per 100 miles that actually take note of the dangers of what are in those things and take care to dispose of them properly.

              • by Yvan256 (722131)

                Your faith will be your undoing once the FSM comes back.

            • the light from an arc lamp is produced when the arc itself occurs, and no phosphor layer is required.

              A bogus definition based on an irrelevant requirement. Without the arc of electricity in the tube there would be no light thus it is an arc light.

              Anyone who has looked at a florescent tube running with a failing ballast knows there is an electric arc because it is plainly visible.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

                Anybody who knows how flourescent bulbs actually work will tell you that the gas inside becomes a plasma. As a plasma, the gas conducts electricity, which pretty much precludes it from being an arc of electricity (though it does start as an arc, it's complicated).

                To create an arc, the electric current must make a jump from a conductive electrode across a non-conductive space to another conductive electrode. The electricity super-heats the gas as it makes the jump, causing it to glow. This process actual

                • by Tacvek (948259)

                  The only complication there is that all (visible) arcs are at least partially a plasma. If they were not, they would not tend to create an arch shape, since the path of least resistance would be a straight line. It is only because a plasma is formed, which obviously attempts to rise, that an arch shape is formed. Obviously the plasma is better conducting than the regular air, and result is that the arch shape has less resistance than a straight line.

                  I will not dispute that how plasmatic an arc is differs be

                • As a plasma, the gas conducts electricity, which pretty much precludes it from being an arc of electricity

                  Really? Whether the medium is a plasma or some other form of gas, its still an electric arc. You can't have an electric arc in a pure vacuum - the ions gotta come from somewhere. Carbon arc lamps just vaporize the carbon to produce the plasma rather than relying on gas sealed in the bulb.

                  But if that's not good enough, here's some cites:

                  All arc lamps use current running through different kinds of gas plasma. A.E. Becquerel of France theorized about the fluorescent lamp in 1857. Low pressure arc lights us [about.com]

    • Well, there is also the need for light in some places hungering for the lumen of even a few candlepower... Better overhaul then expecting them to continue adding to the emissions through other forms of more deadly illumination... .. . Some people use their screens to look @for keys n/ such. .. ...

      --**/WCHTBHTU||[[\]]
      /.
      'The mind cannot forsee it's own advance' +GWGADGET(YES/NO[POLL][TRUE/FALSE]{AND/OR) >. HOW TO IN /. ? [xtra+][[quiz:quote by?]] 9876543210 roll 6d6 7d7 0duNF
    • Had you actually read the article you might've noticed that the eReader display tech was NOT the OLED tech. The article talks about two different technologies for different devices. The eReader display tech in the article is Ch-LCD, not OLED. The OLED tech they describe is intended for future cell phones and the like.
    • ...Reading and watching video in the dark.

      If you want, for a small fee, I will come to your house and rip out the cables out of all of your earphones, speakers, phones and other devices that blare the sound into your ears.
      I'll break your TVs and monitors for free, but ripping out LEDs and light-bulbs will cost you extra.
      You know... for that complete passive experience you are obviously aiming for.

      Can't do much about the smells, touch and taste without removing your tongue, nose and skin though.
      But for a pri

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      I dunno, iPhone's seem to be pretty popular.

      • by daveime (1253762)

        Yes, but the people who buy iPhones like shiny ... they probably can't see the display from the glare emitted from the neon pink case.

        • by jimfrost (58153) *
          And to think I bought mine after determining that it was a bloody good handheld internet access device.

          The shiny is just gravy; the important thing is that it works really well.

          As an internet device anyway. Kinda so-so as a phone, although still worlds better than Windows Mobile. (I haven't figured out what Windows Mobile is actually good at, but perhaps the reason that it has such lousy market penetration is that no one else can, either.)

          Considering the iphone as an e-book, it works reasonably well

          • by daveime (1253762)

            the important thing is that it works really well.

            I suppose it probably does, I just get irritated by the fanbois who seem to think it's the *only* mobile device that does.

            Personally, I've stayed with Nokia through N95, E90 and just as soon as the N900 is available here, I'll treat myself to one of those. I prefer black to neon pink anyway, it gives a slightly better impression when you're in a business meeting ;-)

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        Yes, but people don't buy iPhones to read books on, they buy iPhones to browse the internet, play games, (gasp) make phone calls, etc.

    • by srothroc (733160)
      I like light emitting displays. I do most of my recreational reading in the dark on a small laptop. It's nice to not have to depend on external light sources.
      • by rhsanborn (773855)
        I read in the dark and still prefer the e-reader with a standard, LED book-light.
        • by jimfrost (58153) *
          I concur, but I sure would appreciate having one that was designed to be attached to the reader. You need to hook it to the case on a Kindle, and I have to put it at odd angles to avoid screen glare. Still, way less eyestrain than peering at the iphone.

          I notice that the Nook does have a clip-on light, one of several places I think they are superior to the Kindle, but I haven't had the opportunity to see how well the unit works in practice and I'm not convinced that the LCD panel isn't a temporary hack u

    • by eugene259 (871089)
      Being reflective or emitting has nothing to do with use of e-ink in e-readers. Main advantage of e-ink displays is that they only draw power when the display is updated, they don't consume any power to maintain the image unlike LCD or OLED displays which makes them a lot more power-efficient. However with every e-ink display having a mechanical component (little ink particles are moved around by electric fields) their refresh rate is relatively slow in comparison to an LCD or OLED which makes them unsuitabl
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Actually the main advantage of e-ink in e-readers is they look like ink on paper - hence the name e-ink. Reading on even an old reader with one of the earlier e-ink displays is nearly as good as reading on paper.

        That it sips power is a BONUS of the technology, not the main purpose. Most people get eye strain from looking that the harsh, polarized reflected flourescent light of an LCD display. Plus, they are lit by reflected light off the pixels themselves instead of light passed through a pixel filter, w

    • I'd like both, so that I can read in bright sunlight AND in bed with the room light off.

      Additional, I take it OLED can do video and full color, e-ink can't.

      If on top of that the reader is foldable (but still sturdy), count me in.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        As usual, the summary writer didn't actually read the article. The OLED screen was not for the e-book reader, it was for other devices.

        The e-book screen was something called Ch-LCD, which apparently is sorta similar to e-ink I guess, but with color. Also note that it is far slower than even e-ink, taking 40 seconds to produce an image on the screen. I imagine text will be better, but still, e-ink can do grey-scale images in a few seconds at the most, so while the color is nice it is definitely not practi

        • by jimfrost (58153) *
          Why hasn't anybody tried using the yellow-green-magenta-black of printers for a color e-ink display? It should work exactly the same as producing color on an ink-jet printer.

          They have -- in fact, E-Ink has been demonstrating the technology for four years:

          http://eink.com/press/releases/pr86.html [eink.com]

          and that's not the only similar tech. Wired had a summary of several back in June:

          http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/06/blackandwhite_ebooks/ [wired.com]

          Commercial availability of E-Ink's color displays is expected

        • Why hasn't anybody tried using the yellow-green-magenta-black of printers for a color e-ink display? It should work exactly the same as producing color on an ink-jet printer.

          They do, and it does. The problem is that the current technology is limited to one colour per dot. If you go from mono to colour then you need three times as many dots for the same number of pixels and so your resolution goes from 166 ppi to 55 ppi. This is not high enough for eBook readers, although it is for some dynamic signs (and works well for that use; you only need to apply power when you change the sign contents).

    • by jcr (53032)

      It's a huge improvement over anything that works by shining light directly into your eyes.

      Anything you can see shines light directly into your eyes.

      -jcr

    • No exactly, this is not suitable for comfortable e-readers... but the article confuses two technology's: Ch-LCD and OLED. They also mention smartphone use for the OLED.

      This low power, flexible, soft (but hopefully fairly tough) will be very much beneficial for other portable next generation solutions.
      I would love a wrist-wearable phone that folds open straight to hold and talk and you roll around your wrist to take along...
    • Actually, one reason I haven't bought a kindle is because it does not contain a built-in light. (The other reasons would be cost and DRM)

      I like to read in bed before I go to sleep, and having to use a desk lamp or a book light is rather annoying. I currently read some ebooks on my iPhone which works pretty well on its lowest brightness setting.

      I would prefer a bigger / better resolution display, though, which is why I have atleast considered some ebook readers. But having to turn a light on just to read?

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        I believe one of the Sony models has a built-in LED reading light - actually I'm sure one does. They also make a lot of covers with reading lights built in. Or, you could always get a book lamp, they work even better on e-book readers than on books (no floppiness or having to move it around at all to get the whole page), and the eye-strain is far, far less than a back-lit LCD (it's about the same as paper, oddly enough).

        I wouldn't buy a Kindle either, just because of lock-in. While convenient, those book

        • I've had a PRS-505 for 2 years now... no way in hell I'd go back to trying to read on an LCD or LED screen.
    • by russotto (537200)

      I've read a lot on a non-eInk eBook (the REB-1100, successor to the Rocket Book). It's fine, whether used with the backlight or in reflective mode.

      The problem with current e-ink is the horrible flashing when you change pages. Show the text overlain, then black, then white, then just the new text? Ugh.

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        I love my REB-1100, too bad the battery is starting to go.
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Show the text overlain, then black, then white, then just the new text?

        Is that really the reason you don't have one? Or do you secretly want one and are just making excuses? Because that little flash is about as annoying as... turning a page.

        God it's horrible, the text goes sideways, then disappears and you can see a page ahead for a fraction of a second, then it's sideways again and you can finally read it. Plus there's that annoying "Shhhh..." sound it makes. UGH! Turning pages is so disgusting!

        Seriously man, I'll take my much, much clearer screen and much, much better ba

        • by russotto (537200)

          Is that really the reason you don't have one? Or do you secretly want one and are just making excuses?

          If I wanted one, I'd have one. The delay in page turning is annoying; I DO read fast. But it's the flashing which makes it unacceptable, IMO.

          There is a reason LCD ebook readers never really took off, even though they are much less expensive than e-Ink readers. If you haven't figured it out, maybe you should try actually reading on one for once.

          Because Amazon and Sony weren't flogging them big time? As

      • by jimfrost (58153) *
        The problem with current e-ink is the horrible flashing when you change pages. Show the text overlain, then black, then white, then just the new text? Ugh.

        I was seriously concerned about this when I bought my first Kindle. You know what? Within 10 minutes you just don't see it anymore, pretty much the same way you blank out the page flip on a paper book. Perhaps this is because it really isn't a "flash".

        It'd be ok with me if it went away, but it's not a problem or even a distraction.

    • The article talks about a OLED display that isn't backlit. The OLED displays are easier on the eyes than the current LEDs anyway and the much better refresh rate and the fact you can use current controllers make it a viable option.

      That's the most common complaint about the visaplex, the black wash and 200ms refresh. Also the greyness takes awhile to get used to. As a kindle owner I'd switch to a non backlight technology if it gives me color and options for watching video. The kindle app on the iphone is

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Not only that but the emission part says it's constantly using batteries... Half the point of eInk is that it will remain displaying the same thing, even with no charge applied.

  • Does anyone know... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @02:23AM (#30253036) Journal

    Did they ever solve the problem that older, flexible, OLED displays had that caused visual distortion as the OLED display was bent or is this still an issue?

  • by BigDXLT (1218924) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @02:31AM (#30253064)
    Then, I could give every single frame of each Uwe Boll movie the respect it deserves.
    • I thought that could be done by printing on regular toilet paper.

      Or are you suggesting that you'd wipe your ass on the same OLED ply hundreds of thousands of times? That's... really unhygienic and gross, man.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        No, it's cool, see, the OLED toilet paper never makes it down the toilet - the incomming water just washes it off and it's good to go for the next person!

        Sterilization? Who needs that?!

  • When I was a kid in drafting class at my old highschool I thought to myself. . , "One day in the F*U*T*U*R*E this big drafting board will be digital! Won't that be cool? Where you can have a digital air brush and a digital pencil, etc. That'll be cool! I REALLY want to see that. Everything feels a little wrong with that not being in existence."

    Well, we're getting closer to that reality. Some of the Wacom technology these days is getting pretty impressive, if still clunky.

    Anyway, I half-really believe

    • I wonder what happens when I wake up. I hope the rest of you don't pop out of existence.

      Yeah, like that would hap— [larsi.org]

      • Oooh. Nice. It would have been neat if they had continued to develop this particular idea, but it appears that the company abandoned the product back in the 90's. Even their website is gone. But I'm sure now that display technology has caught up to the vision that we'll be seeing more products like this, perhaps even for the conventional consumer market.

        -FL

    • by jcr (53032)

      I was a draftsman too, for several summers when I was in high school. Back a few years ago when we were hearing all the hype about Go PenPoint and other "pen-based computing", I concluded that I couldn't get excited about pen based computing on a display that was smaller than a "D" sheet (17"x22").

      Besides the displays though, we really need some improvements in UI for CAD systems. Autocad is wretched. Google SketchUp is moving in the right direction, but it's still got quite a ways to go before I'd prefe

    • by ahoehn (301327)
      What, specifically, are you smoking? And where can I get some?
      • What, specifically, are you smoking? And where can I get some?

        Around where I live, we just call it, "Air". You don't even have to burn it before inhaling. Try opening your window maybe?

        To be fair, though, I think it has more to do with refusing to have a crappy, soul-sucking job. Whenever I've had one of those, I find I turn into a zombie and my creative furnaces close down to a measly pilot light; it feels like living with that crappy Dolby noise-reduction filter from 80's stereo systems engaged on my b

  • No! Larger please. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SeaFox (739806)

    Why is it they have to step forwards to color already? What I want is much larger greyscale displays with better contrast for cheaper. Seriously, give me a U.S. Letter size display with better contrast for under $100 and I will jump on the e-reader bandwagon.

    • Ah yes... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by denzacar (181829) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @04:05AM (#30253324) Journal

      The "I am the center of the Universe and all should conform to my unimaginative desires" approach.
      Damn! I wish I came up with that philosophy first.

      Gee.. Who would ever want a thin flexible display that could be bent or rolled up? Madness! Madness I say!
      Naah... let's just make displays that are big enough and cheap enough for YOUR needs.

    • isn't e-ink for e-readers and OLED for replacing LCD displays?

    • by The Evil Couch (621105) on Saturday November 28, 2009 @07:03AM (#30253804) Homepage

      Why is it they have to step forwards to color already? What I want is much larger greyscale displays with better contrast for cheaper. Seriously, give me a U.S. Letter size display with better contrast for under $100 and I will jump on the e-reader bandwagon.

      Because that's a false dichotomy? They're going to need to go color eventually and there's no reason that research into both cheaper, bigger monochrome displays and color displays can't be done simultaneously.

      • by DaAdder (124139)

        Because that's a false dichotomy? They're going to need to go color eventually and there's no reason that research into both cheaper, bigger monochrome displays and color displays can't be done simultaneously.

        Yes they will, about the same time as books are forced to go color to meet popular demand.

        Of course research can be done into both sets of technology at the same time, I just don't know why you'd want to.
        Currently, not a single soul is thinking about ditching books in favor of any current technology. Making people even consider picking up a piece of popular electronics rather than a paperback is the holy grail. Why would you want to invest research dollars into anything else?

        Why aim for a Zune when you coul

    • by daveime (1253762)

      Gratuitous Wiki Copypasta.

      Since the 1960s the International System of Units ("Système International d'Unités" in French, hence "SI") has been the internationally recognised standard metric system.

      Yet you still want an e-book that is 11 inches x 8 1/2 inches ?

      Only three nations have not officially adopted the International System of Units as their primary or sole system of measurement: Burma, Liberia, and the United States.

      Ah, that explains it.

      How does it feel to be one of the 3 nations of the worl

      • by jimfrost (58153) *
        How does it feel to be one of the 3 nations of the world who just *have* to be fucking awkward ?

        Kind of awkward, sometimes. But we take a drumming for it on occasion, like when we confuse the two systems and our spacecraft don't work.

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          Even rocket scientists can be morons - either the Europeans didn't mark their units properly, or the Americans were dumbasses and didn't convert the units and assumed incorrectly. Either way, it's a case of a rocket scientist making a 2nd grade level mistake which cost us billions.

          And you wonder why NASA is having trouble getting funding.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        How does it feel to be one of the 3 nations of the world who just *have* to be fucking awkward ?

        Generally superior, actually, because we know that for the time being all the rest of you losers have to deal with it.

        Suckers.

        Though, we're working on destroying our economy one obscenely huge bill at a time, and once we're relegated to the sidelines I'm sure there will actually be an advantage to switching, so just be patient my poor, interchangeable European friend. Your time will come again, and you can rub it in our faces when it does.

        - Your Smug American Neighbor

    • Silly question: Why letter size? Are current books not big enough for you?

      • by mark-t (151149)

        I can sympathize with the gp poster... I want a letter-sized ereader too. Most books I own *ARE* letter sized... or very close to it.

        Not everybody reads fiction... some people read solely for the purpose of learning something new.

        Practically every scientific paper or article I've ever read on a computer has been formatted for either A4 or letter sized paper.

        The advantage of a large format electronic reader is that it becomes feasible to carry the equivalent of several dozen binders worth of such mat

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        For the most part only fiction paper-backs are as small as the average e-reader display. Hard-cover books use a format slightly smaller than letter size, and almost all technical books use 8.5x11 or A3 format. The big books are much, much easier to read, and for technical books they can hold graphs and figures that are readable.

        Squeezing all that into a paper-back sized e-reader, frankly, sucks. Graphs become hard to read, if it's a software book you have to scroll several pages for each code block which

  • no more cracked lcds.
  • I am hoping that current prices should come down a bit; they're currently priced as if they had some sort of "Enterprise Class Premium Edition" of an OS or something, but I feel like you're buying what essentially is the LCD part of a netbook, and an e-reader part of a distro.

    The current ones *do have nice displays and elegant cases, but I feel I should be getting a Newton or something, at that price, or at least a beefed-up mp3 player built in.

    • by Marcika (1003625)

      I am hoping that current prices should come down a bit; they're currently priced as if they had some sort of "Enterprise Class Premium Edition" of an OS or something, but I feel like you're buying what essentially is the LCD part of a netbook, and an e-reader part of a distro.

      The current ones *do have nice displays and elegant cases, but I feel I should be getting a Newton or something, at that price, or at least a beefed-up mp3 player built in.

      I also think that the price is mostly due to the display itself -- every one of these eReaders is using the panels from E-Ink Corporation (patent-encumbered, proprietary, and thus sold for a high monopoly price). If it was the OS premium or the construction, the competition from cheap chinese eReaders would have driven prices down (and all of those also still cost $200+)... So competing display technologies from other companies are a necessity to get a price war started, I think.

  • Why does no one seem to want to combine these two technologies? It seems like the ultimate display would consist of a layer of e-Paper, followed by an OLED layer, and finally the touch layer. We keep seeing these video demos of transparent, flexible OLED screens which would be ideal for this purpose, but few actual products of ANY sort, let alone something transformative like this would be. Just set the page all black via e-Ink, then you can play the video over the top with OLED. All the benefits, the only

  • this is one of those technologies that is always "just around the corner" - "coming out next year"

    a colleague and I noted a story in the media three years ago that said a new technology for e-paper and e-ink was coming out "next year" - but it never surfaced.

    guess for now I'll keep driving my flying car to the 7-11 to pick up my Daily Post...

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard

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