The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Color and Flexible e-book displays

The Economist recently had an interesting story that is a must-read for those interested in e-reader technology. They report that HP Labs, Arizona State, and E Ink have been successful at producing flexible electronic paper in long rolls -- bendy electronic paper, that can display words and images, and perhaps eventually replace paper books, newspapers and magazines. The new screens are both low-weight and have low power consumption. Early uses are expected to be in the military, who funded the project -- for purposes such as maps and receiving information. Consumer applications are likely a few years away.

The article goes on to talk about the two key barriers to the technology being successful -- a lack of color, and a refresh rate that enables moving images. But the new technology is substantively lighter, more reliable in production and use, and consumes less power -- all factors that will lead to the new technology surplanting the old. The breakthrough reported in the Economist article, though, is the ability to mass-produce flexible displays -- greatly reducing the cost. The article concludes with comments on different technologies that are emerging that may make color displays possible in the future.

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