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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  1. James Hughes 1


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

    Well done Boffins!

    1. Steven Knox


      "...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.

  2. Paul Durrant

    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.

  3. dogged

    The trouble with acme-epaper

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

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      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.

  4. Anonymous Bastard


    But is it flexible?

  5. Lottie


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

  6. Tony Barnes

    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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  8. Chris Miller

    Prior art from Etch-a-Sketch

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

  9. SMFSubtlety

    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....

  10. SMFSubtlety

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

    it was a Dutch company

  11. Ryan 7

    Another benefit over LCD:

    A lot less toxic if cracked open!

  12. frank ly


    " 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?

  13. JaitcH

    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.

  14. Robert Forsyth

    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?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      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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