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Old 02-15-2014, 09:49 AM   #1
pdurrant
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Amazon/Liquavista Hiring Process Engineers

Amazon bought Liquavista from Samsung last March, so they've had the company for nearly a year now. I was just looking for news, and I came across some interesting job ads from Liquavista that were posted in the past month:

Operations Program Manager (Asia based)
Process Quality Engineer
Product Test Engineer
Process Development Engineer
Product Development Manager

and several others.

It looks to me like Liquavista think that the basic R&D is done, and that now they are moving towards mass production for a mass market product.

I have no idea how long a ramp up to volume production takes. I suppose they might just manage it in time for a product launch this Autumn.

But I'd be very surprised if we didn't see a Kindle using a Liquavista electro-wetting display by the end of 2015.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
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Interesting - thanks for posting that! The transition from R&D to commercial production tends to be the point at which many products come unstuck. Remember plastic-substrate eInk screens? They have been promised since 2009, and we still don't have them in commercial production.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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Interesting - thanks for posting that! The transition from R&D to commercial production tends to be the point at which many products come unstuck. Remember plastic-substrate eInk screens? They have been promised since 2009, and we still don't have them in commercial production.
I thought that Mobius E-Ink was now in production?

But with Sony retrenching, I suppose it'll need someone else to bring it to market.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:15 PM   #4
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Is there really a market for this? Many people are moving to tablets, I don't see this as being compelling enough to be more than a niche product, and a small one at that.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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Daylight-readable colour screens have a hugely wider market than reading devices. They are, as you say, a drop in the ocean in the overall scheme of things.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:12 PM   #6
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And don't forget the mass market appeal of longer battery life.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:53 PM   #7
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Right, those are certainly advantages over a tablet, and might add some weight for avid readers, but even among those color is not a must-have feature. I can only think of color being useful on comics and magazines, and these two are probably better served by a tablet, as you can zoom and scroll with fluidity, something you can't do on these reflective displays.

This might find a niche in wearable devices (like smartwatches), but I don't see this flourishing in the ebook reader market.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:00 PM   #8
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It's hard to tell how much appeal this would have until we see a product.
Everybody had high hopes for mirasol until the first product hit the street with a thud.
On the other hand, if Amazon can deliver the equivalent of a paperwhite in weight and battery life but with magazine quality color at under $200 they would find a ready market.
Let's wait and see.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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Amazon's always been rubbish at marketing devices that are attractive to consumers: both in features and price. Why would it suddenly be any different?
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:22 PM   #10
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Amazon's always been rubbish at marketing devices that are attractive to consumers: both in features and price. Why would it suddenly be any different?
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:45 PM   #11
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Frankly, until anyone sees a product or at least reliable engineering specs we're all blowing hot air, but the fact that they are hiring production personnel means they are going to do something in volume. Can't imagine how good it will be, but it has to beat Mirasol or wouldn't be worth the investment.

The real news is that if it is worthwhile they potentially have the market, whatever display market they like, cornered. This could get interesting, but it may end up being a bit monopolistic if no one else can buy their displays... If they have a lower powered, reflective display, that is video capable and looks good and can be made for about IPS cost on a line very similar to a typical LCD manufacturing line they will really have something. Smart phone & tablet makers will be beating a path to the door, or Amazon will have a big time advantage.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:21 AM   #12
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Amazon's always been rubbish at marketing devices that are attractive to consumers: both in features and price. Why would it suddenly be any different?
Is this meant to be ironic?
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:33 AM   #13
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Right, those are certainly advantages over a tablet, and might add some weight for avid readers, but even among those color is not a must-have feature. I can only think of color being useful on comics and magazines, and these two are probably better served by a tablet, as you can zoom and scroll with fluidity, something you can't do on these reflective displays.
Liquavista seems pretty fluid to me. This video shows it running video: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programme...ne/8610962.stm. I think a Paperwhite or Fire HD with a low power, reflective, colour, high resolution display could have a huge appeal to the market.

Last edited by ShellShock; 02-16-2014 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:00 AM   #14
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Is this meant to be ironic?
I was shooting for heavily sarcastic.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:28 AM   #15
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as you can zoom and scroll with fluidity, something you can't do on these reflective displays.
You should not think that all low-power reflective displays have the same response times. Electro-wetting displays have a much, much faster response time than electrophoretic displays like the E-Ink ones.
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