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Old 10-27-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
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Liquavista e-paper demo

Check out the demo of Liquavista via engagedget. That refresh rate is amazing, although I wonder what impact it will have on battery life.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/27/l...deo/#continued
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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Like so many video technologies, I'll believe it when I see product going out the door. But it looks really spiffy. The underlying technology is it like e-ink in that it is a no-energy technology between changes. Of course, in full motion video that doesn't mean much. Still, it's supposed to be a much lower energy user than LCD, and for small devices, the screen is what eats the most juice anyway...
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
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I share your skepticism since the route to production tends to be more complicated than companies realize, but it at least looks promising at this point with an actual real demo. The market definitely seems to be accelerating with a few promising technologies in the works.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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But are they trying to steer the reading devices toward multimedia devices ? Finally, we will have something that acts like a computer, surfing the net, playing movies, etc AND serve as as reading device ??
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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It certainly seems to enable that usage model, but the big question will still be battery life. If this level of refresh comes with the battery impact of existing lcd displays, then it's not a good option for dedicated readers. Maybe we'll see somewhat of a sliding scale of capability that grows from ereader with primarily static content to multimedia tablet that is more media focused and finally to full fledged pc's. Faster displays and/or color with the same battery life benefits would always be welcome in a dedicated ereader device.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Like so many video technologies, I'll believe it when I see product going out the door. But it looks really spiffy. The underlying technology is it like e-ink in that it is a no-energy technology between changes. Of course, in full motion video that doesn't mean much. Still, it's supposed to be a much lower energy user than LCD, and for small devices, the screen is what eats the most juice anyway...
According to Liquavista's own site, the technology is not bistable. The lower power consumption comes from the fact that it's more transmissive, so needs a less intense backlight, and can also operate in a purely reflective state:
http://liquavista.com/technology/ele...erSavings.aspx
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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What definitely made my day was the refresh rate on the small color e-ink display. That looks incredibly promising. I don't need to play movies on an eREADER (stressing the reader part there :-) ), but color eInk with reasonable refresh rate AND contrast... well, that's different altogether.
At the moment, I use my reader (PRS505) only for leisure time and albeit I like some of the new devices (think Nook), I still don't see the upgrade value there as the touch screens have issues of their own for example.
However, this looks like it could really bump the industry. Color annotations on a say 9 inch pad at my office... I like that sir, very much.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:44 PM   #8
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Something which should be clarified ASAP is that this is not eInk. Or any form of electrophoretic display for that matter. Nor is it LCD. The technology here is known as an "electrowetting" display.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:47 PM   #9
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I do thing there are applications to a more multi-media centric book. Think of a textbook, history book or travel book that was augmented with in line video or audio clips. This is still a book in every sense of the word, but has some additional content inserted instead of just tables or pictures.

Don't get me wrong, I'm primarily a reader and I personally hate audio books, but the ability for a device to augment the reading experience in this fashion could be pretty cool. Maybe by the time I retire something like that will exist.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylrob View Post
Something which should be clarified ASAP is that this is not eInk. Or any form of electrophoretic display for that matter. Nor is it LCD. The technology here is known as an "electrowetting" display.
It certainly is listed under the electronic paper category at wikipedia. And e-ink is more of a brand I think. One which uses electrophoretic displays.

edit: oh, wait, you were reacting to the thread title. Yeah, that looked a little weird.

Last edited by acidzebra; 10-27-2009 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:50 PM   #11
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It certainly is listed under the electronic paper category at wikipedia. And e-ink is more of a brand I think. One which uses electrophoretic displays.

edit: oh, wait, you were reacting to the thread title. Yeah, that looked a little weird.
Good point, I should have called it electronic paper as opposed to e-ink since it is different technology. How do you edit a thread title?
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #12
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Still, it's supposed to be a much lower energy user than LCD, and for small devices, the screen is what eats the most juice anyway...
That's an interesting thought though, I usually look at improving battery technology to get longer life out of these devices with LCD chewing a large amount of power. But improving display technologies is probably more feasible at this stage since they are having a hard time getting better batteries!

Will be interesting to see what kinds of devices this technology appears in.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:31 PM   #13
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I'll have to be honest, the B&W video demo looked rather dire with a ton of ghosting, though the part showing annotations was quite impressive. The colour video was interesting, but I don't know if something with that sort of flicker will really sell. I couldn't help noticing that the demo avoided showing a full-screen page-turn - I suspect their technology has the same problem with page-turn flash-to-reset that eInk does.

Most depressingly: still only 166dpi... WTF.

Yeah, 166dpi is 'good enough' with sub-pixel rendering and I have no problems reading on my Sony, but I'd really like to see display technologies moving towards print-quality resolutions, which start at 300dpi. Video and colour are irrelevant for eBook readers, and alternative technologies all have a LONG way to go before they can rival LCDs in those areas. Despite the web, we all spend a lot of time reading static text, so why not concentrate on developing that niche? eInk has cornered the market for readers and been sitting on its laurels for several years now, and it looks like other technologies are really being developed for low-power phone displays.
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