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OLPC Spinoff Pixel Qi Merges E-ink With LCD 78

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fun-things-to-keep-an-eye-on dept.
MaryBethP writes with some tasty prototype photos and info about the new OLPC spin off "Pixel Qi" that is combining the best of e-ink and traditional LCD displays. "The screen can work as a traditional backlit LCD when indoors, can have that backlight disabled to be perfectly visible outdoors (shown after the break), and, as its pièce de résistance, can be toggled into an energy-efficient 'epaper' mode. How exactly the company is fitting these seemingly disparate slices of technology into a single 10.1-inch screen is something of a mystery, but we're guessing much will be answered next week ahead of a planned product launch by the end of the year. Color us intrigued."
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OLPC Spinoff Pixel Qi Merges E-ink With LCD

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  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bruiser80 (1179083) on Friday May 29, 2009 @03:52PM (#28142845)
    On a laptop it is :-)

    "Portable" computers used to have that 4" CRT on them back when they weighted 20 lbs. But as for the modern laptop, it's been LCD all the way.
  • e-Ink? (Score:5, Informative)

    by owlstead (636356) on Friday May 29, 2009 @03:53PM (#28142869)

    As far as I know, e-Ink is a marketing name for a specific piece of technology using colored particles and static electricity. Somehow I'm not so sure that this is the technology used here, it looks more like different ways of handling an LCD than a layer of e-Ink. I would not know how you could make a sheet of e-Ink invisible for the eye, and it seems this is required. The screen in the photo does not look like digital paper either.

    My money is on B/W LCD without (significant) back-lighting.

  • Re:Wait. What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by snl2587 (1177409) on Friday May 29, 2009 @03:53PM (#28142879)
    For laptops? Yeah...though I guess that should technically say "active-matrix liquid crystal display".
  • Re:e-Ink? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shagg (99693) on Friday May 29, 2009 @03:59PM (#28142955)

    You're right. People get the terms mixed up all the time. E-Ink is the name of a company that markets a specific implementation of epaper technology (electrophoretic display). There are other technologies that also qualify as epaper (including variations on LCD, which is what Pixel Qi uses). As far as I know, Pixel Qi has nothing to do with e-Ink. Lots of people just get confused and thing e-Ink == epaper, which is not true.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday May 29, 2009 @04:08PM (#28143081) Homepage Journal

    E-paper only requires power to change the display, not to keep the image shown.

  • Re:e-Ink? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shagg (99693) on Friday May 29, 2009 @04:16PM (#28143181)

    I think the distinction here is that e-ink is only one type of e-paper (although probably the most well known at this point because of the Kindle). Pixel Qi is not using e-ink, they are using a form of LCD. It's a completely different technology.

  • XO? (Score:2, Informative)

    by AvitarX (172628) <me.brandywinehundred@org> on Friday May 29, 2009 @04:16PM (#28143187) Journal

    This looks to me exactly like the XO, but with a better color display.

    I was intrigued 2 years ago when i got my XO.

    Now it is simply what I hoped would happen, same tech, but with focus on image quality and resolution over inexpensiveness.

    On the XO, the wavy lines can become quite the hassle.

  • Re:e-Ink? (Score:3, Informative)

    by owlstead (636356) on Friday May 29, 2009 @05:45PM (#28144359)

    One does not need any energy to be functional, only a refresh now and then. The other one can probably run at quite a few hertz, making scrolling and moving pictures a possibility. One is using normal color absorption and refraction. The other on uses absorption and reflection. One has clearly a glassy look to it, the other one looks like real paper. One can be used with back-lighting and may be combined with normal LCD, the other not. One may be bend, the other probably not.

    Sure, they are both gray scale (not B&W) and use no/little back lighting so both can be used for reading eBooks. But the differences between the two technologies are huge.

  • Re:e-Ink? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Timmmm (636430) on Friday May 29, 2009 @08:08PM (#28145699)

    They're more different than that. To use a car analogy, it's like saying "not all cars are 4x4s".

  • Pixel Qi - no E-Ink (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 29, 2009 @08:35PM (#28145913)

    While the Pixel Qi displays are (we believe) remarkable and can and will really serve as exceptional e-paper displays, there is no relationship to E-Ink. Not the company and not the electrophoretic technology that E-Ink uses.

    John Ryan
    Pixel Qi Corp.
    Taiwan

    (Filed as anonymous coward, because I *do* have a separate /. personal account.)

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