back to article Boffins build acme e-paper screen

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati have come up with what they claim is the acme of mobile display technology: a screen that's cheap, able to present content clearly even in bright sunlight, able to retain an image even when there's no power and yet, unlike e-ink screens, can refresh quickly enough to play video. And, …

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Boffintastic

Always amazes me how people come up with this stuff, and then find ways of making it.

Well done Boffins!

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Unhappy

Almost

"...and then find ways of making it."

That has yet to be. Compared to mass production, prototyping's a breeze. These capabilities have been promised by someone pretty much every year since I can remember, so I'm not holding my breath.

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Late to the game

Mirasol is going to offer a reflective, colour, bistable, video refresh rate display in devices appearing Q1 2011. They're already ramping up production of the display in their factory.

http://www.mirasoldisplays.com/

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The trouble with acme-epaper

is that it is certain somehow find a way to almost fatally injure Wile E Coyote.

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Joke

I can see some ways.

1. An Acme Paper device starts going spastic, giving off weird colors and such. Wile E. goes hypno, wanders aimlessly off a cliff, finally snaps out of it...going down!

2. Gets an Acme Paper How-To Book (have to keep up with the times). He ends up on the wrong page, turns the wrong screw, and SPLAT!

3. Make one big enough, and it becomes a substitute for the ol' painted canvas. And we all know the classic hi-jinks you can have with fake scenery. Now imagine one that decides to keep changing on its own.

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Stop

e-paper

But is it flexible?

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well

I'm impressed. I can imagine that ebook battery life would be improved a hell of a lot.

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Not sure if ideal for TVs?

Unless I'm missing something, this will only really work well in well lit environments? Similar to e-ink? So to replace an LCD screen, it would need some sort of light source, surely, otherwise contrast levels would be terrible in a dimly lit (i.e. movie night!) room.

Perhaps a merge of the two techs, so flicking between a backlit environment in the dark, and non in the light - hah, have fun sorting that one!!

Great bit of innovation though, reckon in handheld devices there are a lot of applications.

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Happy

Prior art from Etch-a-Sketch

Can you reset it by holding it above your head and shaking it?

http://pics.livejournal.com/allah_sulu/pic/0002f3h8/g13

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didn't a UK company/university already do this?

I seem to remember seeing a video about 6 months ago showing just this same idea, but in colour and up to 60fps video....

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RE: didn't a UK company/university already do this?

it was a Dutch company

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/8610962.stm

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Another benefit over LCD:

A lot less toxic if cracked open!

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Science?

"...it creates a reflected ray of coloured light which combines with literally millions of ambient light rays to produce a full-color display," the scientists say.

All this from a single coloured pigment? That doesn't sound like a scientific statement. It sounds like a marketing droid trying to explain the 'science' of something. Is the display claimed to be 'full-colour' at this stage?

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Pint

Thse developments could generate for cash strapped universities

Providing Jobs doesn't claim prior art developments such as these can generate a good cash flow for the universities involved.

Battery life is the Achilles Heel of smart-phones and messing with call signal criteria to save battery life has already cost one company dearly.

Perhaps edge illumination would solve night viewing.

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Isn't it the backlight

that uses all the power in LCD, trying to compete with the sun, doesn't my calculator have a reflective display?

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Still has a few problems.

LCDs aren't nearly as transmissive as e-ink (LCD displays don't look as white in the sun). Plus they're polarized, which makes them difficult to see if you happen to be wearing polarized (think driver's anti-glare) glasses.

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