The size of Russian investment in failed e-reader company Plastic Logic has been revealed, with $700m on the table for a company that has never managed to make a viable product. Plastic Logic did make a few Que readers, one of which is on display in Churchill College, Cambridge, but delays in production allowed the competition ( …
Kiss of Death
One wonders if the injection of Russian money into the company will then close more markets than it opens.
But good luck to them, if the UK won't invest in it's own innovative high tech, then we deserve what we get.
I still want one
The Que is *exactly* the kind of reader I want and I'd be happy to pay a premium for it. But your main criticism that Plasticlogic couldn't compete on the global market for what has quickly become consumer devices is entirely valid. Licensing the technology to companies with the necessary scale is where they need to go. But it will be interesting to see the colour stuff they claim to have come up with.
How would they *not* be useful?
The only question is when. LCD and LED backlighting aren't going to get any better on power consumption, and they'll never be flexible. Nor are Kindle-type displays the solution, given their awful refresh time, dreadful flashing when they do refresh, and frankly unacceptable contrast ratio You want an always-on tablet with a roll-up screen, you need something else for a display.
Plastic Logic were basically done when it came to the raw tech. Where they fell down was the standard startup problem of turning it into a product. Given some money and some decent management, they'll be sorted. For instance, it's pretty clear that you can't sell a reader just on its screen, if it's over-priced and under-featured. But you could sell the *screen* itself to Apple, or you could sell it to any phone manufacturer.
Too ambitious for first product
Over-featured, aimed at high end markets... surely they should've just sold the bloody screen and device driver as components to other companies - one's with experience in making products.
Or gone for some low end mass production tack instead, just to get themselves established, and make the technology visible?
Rolling adverts on cereal packets, or even jiffie bags.
Or perhaps those wrist tags they put on people at music festivals.
Or strip displays on shop shelving, so the product/price/special offer can be updated more efficiently.
But no, they wanted to do a high priced executive toy with Wall St Journal subscriptions.
Russian "businesmen" mugged by foreigners
Not a headline you see every day.