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Old 12-11-2009, 07:52 AM   #1
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Pixel Qi will be at CES in January

This should interest most any gadget geek. Mary Lou Jepsen announced on her blog that Pixel Qi will be attending CES 2010 in support of their business partners. She didn't say which companies that would be, so let the hunt begin.

http://pixelqi.com/blog1/2009/12/07/...ng-production/
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:01 AM   #2
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Mac Rumors has a thread on this. Some hope for tablet that can be used as a ereader.

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/12/11/...-apple-tablet/
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
This should interest most any gadget geek. Mary Lou Jepsen announced on her blog that Pixel Qi will be attending CES 2010 in support of their business partners. She didn't say which companies that would be, so let the hunt begin.

http://pixelqi.com/blog1/2009/12/07/...ng-production/
Hopefully they'll actually name these mysterious partners at CES. Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if they don't though.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Hopefully they'll actually name these mysterious partners at CES. Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if they don't though.
Well, they're gonna have to be in someone's booth, and that will probably give it away. Pixel Qi isn't listed as an exhibitor.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:32 AM   #5
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Personally, I have a feeling this kind of announcement makes it unlikely that Apple is using Pixel Qi's tech in any way, especially since Apple won't attend CES and AFAIK didn't schedule any press events for the next few weeks, either. I just don't see Steve Jobs touting a cool new feature that has been licensed from another company and has been publicly demonstrated before.

Besides, Apple has so much cash on hand they could have easily bought the whole company to prevent the competition from gaining access to the technology.

If the Apple tablet is real, my guess is that it'll either use a regular LCD screen (which all the pundits seem to prefer over eInk, mostly, probably, because they've never actually used an eInk device and don't know its advantages...) or some as-yet unseen technology that Apple either developed in-house or has the right to use exclusively for a significant amount of time. (Like several of Intel's latest chips which made it to Macs first before they became available for other PC makers.)

I could be wrong, of course - few people outside the industry have ever heard of Pixel Qi at tis time, so the "wow"-factor might still be enough for the average consumer if Apple is the first company to present a product with this screen.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:38 AM   #6
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If the Apple tablet is real, my guess is that it'll either use a regular LCD screen (which all the pundits seem to prefer over eInk, mostly, probably, because they've never actually used an eInk device and don't know its advantages...) or some as-yet unseen technology that Apple either developed in-house or has the right to use exclusively for a significant amount of time. (Like several of Intel's latest chips which made it to Macs first before they became available for other PC makers.)
Smart money seems to be on Apple using an OLED screen.

An eInk screen would be utterly unsuited for a media tablet, which is what Apple would unquestionably be interested in, rather than a dedicated bookreader.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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An eInk screen would be utterly unsuited for a media tablet, which is what Apple would unquestionably be interested in, rather than a dedicated bookreader.
That's true - it's just that all the "Kindle killer" articles out there paint the picture that this will be superior to eInk in every way because it can play video and has colours. They don't mention at all that this will also bring all the usual drawbacks in terms of readability and battery life. The usual argument basically goes: eInk is a flawed, oudated technology, the media tablets will get it right. One German newspaper commentary even showed the writers' hopeless ignorance by claiming that "poor battery life" was actually a problem of eInk-based devices.

What it comes down to, I guess, is just that I'm afraid that a good technology like eInk might actually suffer because media pundits are putting it down before most people had a chance to experience it for themselves. (At least over here in Germany, ebook readers are still very rare, because of the publishers' insistence on ridiculous pricing.)
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:00 PM   #8
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That's true - it's just that all the "Kindle killer" articles out there paint the picture that this will be superior to eInk in every way because it can play video and has colours. They don't mention at all that this will also bring all the usual drawbacks in terms of readability and battery life. The usual argument basically goes: eInk is a flawed, oudated technology, the media tablets will get it right. One German newspaper commentary even showed the writers' hopeless ignorance by claiming that "poor battery life" was actually a problem of eInk-based devices.

What it comes down to, I guess, is just that I'm afraid that a good technology like eInk might actually suffer because media pundits are putting it down before most people had a chance to experience it for themselves. (At least over here in Germany, ebook readers are still very rare, because of the publishers' insistence on ridiculous pricing.)
Once you can get better technology with satisfactory battery life, e-ink will go the way of the dodo. Transmissive displays are problematic because the emitter needs to compete with other light sources in situations like bright daylight, making them much less efficient in those cases if they're to be viewable in the first place. I won't bother with Chinese ebooks on e-ink because the readability so mediocre compared with my desktop LCD. Of course, my desktop PC is useless when I'm on the train, and my netbook doesn't handle sunlight well. That'll make Pixel Qi pretty attractive for general use...the extra viewability and contrast of a good transmissive display with the daylight viewability of a reflective screen when necessary.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:49 PM   #9
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Once you can get better technology with satisfactory battery life, e-ink will go the way of the dodo.
It can also go the way of the Archaeopteryx (or its close relatives), the "better technology" can be just an evolution of current e-ink.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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It can also go the way of the Archaeopteryx (or its close relatives), the "better technology" can be just an evolution of current e-ink.
Yeah it's possible that EPD will evolve into something more usable, if it can survive against competing technologies that so far seem to have quite an edge. Perhaps it'll ultimately wind down to marketing and production feasibility.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:52 PM   #11
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Once you can get better technology with satisfactory battery life, e-ink will go the way of the dodo.
I wouldn't mind a superior technology replacing it - it's just that history has shown that all too often the winner is determined not by quality but by good or bad marketing and business decisions. (E.g. Betamax vs. VHS, the demise of DAT, HD-DVD vs. BluRay, MacOS vs. DOS/early Windows, etc.)

E-Ink is far from perfect and might turn out to be a dead end, but it isn't useless just yet. Sure, it would be great to have a media tablet with e-ink readability, LCD capabilities and ultra-low power consumption, but IMHO it'll be quite a while before such a beast is released.

Until then, I want to have the option of reading the latest books on a device that is easy on the eyes and can go for weeks without a charge even if that means I have to compromise in other areas. I'm worried that too much hype surrounding one technology might take away that choice. Should the format wars force me to upgrade my e-reader, I don't want to be stuck with terrible battery life, just because marketing people managed to convince the buying public that absolutely every device needs to be able to display full motion video.

Sorry about the rant. To get this back on topic: Pixel Qi's displays certainly do sound intriguing and might even solve the readability problem. I'm just not too optimistic about the power consumption, but maybe they'll surprise me there, too...
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