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Displays Hardware

Rollable E Ink Displays Get Real 116

An anonymous reader writes "Two years ago Philips unveiled a prototype of a functional electronic-document reader, called the Readius, which could unroll its display to a scale larger than the device itself. Unfortunately, that was only a prototype. According to Cnet, however, Polymer Vision, which spun out from Philips in 2006, has redesigned the Readius and turned it into a real product that it is going to be available by the end of this year. There are some notable differences between this Readius and the prototype version, in particular, the ability to display 16 shades of grey instead of just 4 and the connectivity options. What doesn't make sense though, is given the energy efficiency and easy-to-read high contrast functionality of E Ink, why other than Motorola with its Motofone, has no other cell phone manufacturer incorporated E Ink technology into its handsets?"
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Rollable E Ink Displays Get Real

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  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RootWind ( 993172 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:12PM (#18060010)
    I'm assuming the other companies don't think the cell phone providers will be willing to provide "low-end" phones that don't have the capability to provide full "nickel & dime" profits. Frankkly, I'm not sure the Motofone will make it to the U.S.
  • Re:Audiobooks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zyl0x ( 987342 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:50PM (#18060290)

    listen to them everywhere where you need your eyes but not your ears -- in the car, on your bike
    I certainly hope that's some kind of joke. Do you have any idea why cyclists get hit by cars?
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:51PM (#18060300)

    What doesn't make sense though, is given the energy efficiency and easy-to-read high contrast functionality of E Ink, why other than Motorola with its Motofone, has no other cell phone manufacturer incorporated E Ink technology into its handsets?

    E-Ink has yet to be tested wide scale on America's consumers, or any consumers, really. Technologically, for a number of cell phone users (at least in the U.S.), it is a step backwards. We already have bright screens with a number of colors. The cell phone is a show piece, and "Hey guys, look how energy efficient my phone is!" doesn't garner praise in most circles. Sure, some people just want a phone with good battery life and don't want a fancy phone that can do a billion different things, but the vibe that I get is that noone knows just how big that market is, or that noone wants to cater to it because of its size, or they figure that with no alternative, consumers will be stuck buying whatever bloated phone is cheapest at the time.

    What doesn't make sense though, is why hasn't the Motofone been released in the U.S.? The Motofone got a bit of hype, and a number of people have said it would be great to have a phone that is a phone and is good at it. A number of articles made the rounds on the net, including at Engadget and Gizmodo. Despite this, Motorola is dragging its feet getting it to the U.S., and if you want to import it, you have spend twice what it's worth. Makes me wonder, what's taking so long?
  • Re:Audiobooks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harves ( 122617 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:48PM (#18060664)
    Grandparent post has a good point. I'll see if I can add to it.

    Most cyclists don't have rearview mirrors; they use their ears. They can tell a car is just-behind-and-to-the-left or riding-my-arse by the engine noise. You can hear that fool doing twice the speed limit well before he passes you, assuming you can hear. Now, yes, I agree: every cyclist needs to look around and be aware of the traffic around them, the same as a driver in a car. But would you drive a car with *no* rearview mirrors at all? By shutting off your ears as a cyclist you are doing the same thing.

    Yes, I'm a cyclist. I ride in traffic. I don't wear my iPod unless I'm on a separate cycleway/path. I would use a rearview mirror if I could find one that actually works.
  • Re:Audiobooks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @04:03PM (#18061520) Homepage Journal
    'scuse me? I'd rather have a cyclist listen to an audiobook than a driver making a hands-free phonecall. Also, I live in a country where there are separate lanes for cyclists. Keep the volume low and the eyes open.
  • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @04:30PM (#18061712) Homepage
    Why ?
    It's a small creature saying "feep !".

    My almost-10-years old Ericsson T39 (dating before "Sony-" started appearing in front). Had and still has today all this : Bluetooth (for being used as a modem on my other equipment) with GPRS, extensible antenna (although as an option), and low power consumption (even had an optionnal huge LiMH replacement for the polymer battery that could last up to one week).

    It's good enough and I'm still using up to today. Only now I begin to consider changing it because UMTS sounds interesting...

    The reason you can't find such things ?
    Feature creep. When everyone changes phones each year for free with his tarif plan, companies have a hard time trying to be "the one" elected by the consumer for the next cycle. So their overbloat their phone with semi-useful functions and then hope that the consumer will pick to one with the most marks in the checkbox on the label at the shop.

    Or they go for the cheapest phone, and not only remove things not necessary in a phone (like the webcam) but also functions that could be used to connect the phone to other device that could provide the function (the phone doesn't need internet connection. The Laptop or the Palmtop *DO*) and you get no UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, Bluetooth or IrDA (and sometime, no other connector except a charger port).

    So they either produce Everything-including-the-kitchen-sink phone, or the cheap crap-phone, but no "give-me a basic phone and let my use my laptop for everything else".
    The one company that gets that right *AND* that use some standart connector (so that we don't have to buy a new round of charger and such accessories everytime a new model is out) would have definitely a market.
  • Re:Audiobooks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @05:48PM (#18062252) Homepage
    Because they have the volume way too damn loud. I ride my bike with headphones on all the time - I just don't use my noise-canceling ones, nor do I put the volume even close to a point where I can't hear cars coming.

    I'd be a lot more concerned about drivers listening than bikers. At least on a bike, you have to do something to keep moving.
  • by Kashgarinn ( 1036758 ) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @06:23PM (#18062466)
    The reason why it won't take off is because there isn't an easy way of getting to a vast dump of intellectual property to start the wheels going.

    If every textbook in the world would be available, then only maybe it would sell (unless it would be very, very cheap.. like $10-20.

    If every textbook in the world, as well as every picture book would be abailable, then there's a small chance people would be interested as both porn and manga would open up for these devices (and the price would have to be lower than $50).

    If every textbook, picture book, and animation would be available, then you've got a device which people would be really interested in owning, and would be then worth a pricetag of $100.

    Of course now you're talking about the capabilities of cellphones and computers. why not just wait until you can get your hands on a OLPC? should meet your needs.
  • Re:Audiobooks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Sunday February 18, 2007 @11:01PM (#18063864) Homepage Journal
    It still aint 60 km/hr and if you're in traffic going 60 km/hr then you need to do at least 50+ or you are going to cause an accident.. that's if you're in a car or on a bike. Really, it isn't a matter of velocity, it's a matter of acceleration. If you can't start and stop at the same rate as the rest of the traffic, you're a hazard. This is why bike lanes are a good idea.. and yes, they should be everywhere.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling