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Old 10-16-2009, 09:48 PM   #31
Dylrob
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Originally Posted by charleski View Post
The polymer display is just flashing a static image on and off. Though it does show that they can accelerate their particles to moderately reasonable velocities, the actual switching rate of individual elements in that demo is not much more than 1fps. I suspect that eInk has problems with the settling time required after a cell has been changed, possibly associated with the need to decelerate the particles and then accelerate them back in the opposite direction. There's a brief glimpse of a screen with a colour section overlaid on top of what looks like a regular eInk display. What's going on there? They don't say, but I do know that there's been research done on integrating eInk and LCD displays.
You should take whatever Engadget writers say with a heavy pinch of salt. More often than not they don't bother to do the proper research. Case in point, Pixel Qi's technology has absolutely nothing to do with eInk or electrophoretics in general. It's pure LCD technology... just with the "formula" heavily tweaked.

As for the color display, it was mentioned in this press release.

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Finally, that video is over 2 years old. It's strange we haven't heard more about colour video eInk in the meantime, don't you think? So no, I don't think that YouTube clip is proof of colour full-motion video in a product in the next 2-3 years. If Cringely thinks Apple will whip one of of their hat early next year then he needs to lay off the moonshine.
I never said it would. The point is that a prototype does exist, regardless of whether it's anywhere close to being mass produced.

Last edited by Dylrob; 10-17-2009 at 01:12 AM. Reason: OCD
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:12 AM   #32
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As for the color display, it was mentioned in this press release.
Well, they certainly made a specific claim back in 2007. Still, the flexible polymer was only refreshing cells at 1fps. The brief glimpse they gave of their colour display was certainly a chunky piece of kit and no-one was touching it, so they may have been able to boost it to 30fps by pushing the plate voltages sky high. Ramping up the applied force is certainly one way of achieving the acceleration needed, but for a practical application they really need to decrease particle mass and lower the viscosity of the suspension oil, both of which are far harder tasks.

The problems eInk faces are simply physical and solid-state methods using conformational changes offer far more hope for practical reflective video displays. Colour is certainly possible, as long as they can increase their base cell pitch to over 300cpi, which is largely a matter of manufacturing quality control. But I have serious doubts that eInk technology using relatively massive particles will ever come to market in a 30fps video incarnation that you can pick up without insulated gloves.
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