Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Flexible Screens for your Print Reader

As "reading screens" become lighter and resilient to everyday bangs and bumps, they become more useful and more preferred. In a world of green behavior, changing reading behavior from printed paper to digital seems on a fast track of user preference. Still, the device has to be user friendly. Well it seems that companies are listening. "A Cambridge-based company is months away from launching the world’s first flexible electronic screen. Designed by scientists at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, to compete with the growing variety of electronic books from the likes of Sony and the US-only Amazon Kindle, the roll up A4-sized 'intelligent plastic' display has taken a decade of development and cost £120 million. From Plastic Logic, It is the first screen to be made from a microchip not of silicon but of cheap plastic."

Most interesting is their learning. Consumers don't actually want screens that can be rolled up like a newspaper for carrying, say in your back pocket. Too flexible is perceived as cheap and breakable. Once proven that such devices could be made to withstand folding and rolling, I wouldn't be surprised for consumers to become more accepting.

So what's next. perhaps, as the article implies, a Hogwart's paper where video images are as possible as static ones. I still wait to hear how battery life improves so that the screen doesn't go dark the moment you most need to read it.

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