As KitGuru has reported in the past, while the iPad is a top seller, the LCD technology doesn’t make it the best option for reading books, a factor that has helped the Amazon Kindle 3 sell so well in recent months. This may all change as researchers have managed to work out a system to combine both e-Ink and LCD technology.
It took University of Cincinnati researchers seven years from idea to prototype, but now they are promising the moon and the stars from a new type of display technology. Their screens use reflected ambient light, instead of backlighting, thus eliminating the biggest power drag of LCD displays.
Light enters from the outside through two layers of special fluids, then it bounces back from a layer of reflective electrodes, and the photons hit your eyeball with the brightness and the colors to create images of text, pictures or video. The only power needed is a small charge that makes the fluid layers move as intended.
Sounds complicated, but for the consumers that means a screen with the power consumption of an eReader that stays bright in direct sunlight, and can show color video, when the pixels are slimmed down further.
This technology can be applied in current LCD factories without the expensive need for equipment changes. This is probably the tipping point for many manufacturers.
Lead researcher Jason Heikenfeld said , “conventional wisdom says you can’t have it all with electronic devices: speed, brightness and low-cost manufacturing. That’s going to change with the introduction of this new discovery into the market”.
You can read more about this here.
KitGuru: We are excited already, although this is some time from being available in the consumer market.