It combines an e-ink type of screen mode with a color screen mode. As for the time-frame we can expect this to beocme a reality for actual devices on the market, Josh Quittner writes:
' The displays still have a way to go, of course. A third party would need to build a proper motherboard, optimized for the display and an e-reader. (Simply slapping a PQ display on the Acer gives it an extra hour or so of battery life; an optimized e-reader essentially goes to sleep between the turn of each page, saving far more power, among other things.) But Mary Lou said that a manufacturer could buy PQ's technology today and have an e-reader that could render high-def text, on a full color page, and video, by the first quarter of next year. The screens are cheap to produce, too—well under $200, she said. Such a device ought to enjoy 40 hours or so of use as an e-reader, between charges. Video would drain the battery faster, obviously. 'I can't imagine that if this is workable that Bezos won't make an effort to use it for future Kindles.
UPDATE - 6/1/09 (Original posting: 5/31/09 - 9:03 PM) In an earlier entry on this blog about the cost of the components for the Kindle, iSuppli's supervising analyst, Andrew Rasseiler, estimates the cost of the e-ink display at $60 "or about 42% of the cost of materials." So, the Pixel Qi screen costing "well under $200" indicates a fairly costly device, when the wireless is included as it is now.
Also, Taiwan’s Prime View International is buying E-Ink in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for
UPDATE - 6/3/09 - CNet offers more info on what PVI does and what its relationship has been with epaper manufacturer E Ink of Cambridge, Mass. They worked together on Sony readers as well. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of PVI, once the deal is approved, E Ink will likely add another 20 workers to its 120-member staff.
UPDATE - 6/3/09 - (Original posting: 5/31/09 - 9:03 PM) A closer look at Pixel Qi's images.
Kindle Zen's Steve Bains has an interesting article on Pixel Qi's images and the lighting and angles involved, and there's a video demo of the prototype screen in action on the streets in sunlight. Bains points out that CNet's Peter Glaskowsky has cautioned that some of the marketing in the past by Mary Lou Jepson, Pixel Qi's founder, who was CTO for the One Laptop Per Child project, has included claims that Glaskowsky doesn't find quite supportable and which he terms "hyperbole." I'm not quite sure why Glaskowsky finds PQ's focus too narrow when I'd think that would be a criticism of companies like E Ink also - and Pixel Qi's technology looks quite promising.
Pay a visit to Kindle Zen to see the full report by Bains and the many other interesting stories on their site, somewhat off the beaten path.
UPDATE - 6/8/09 - New video of Kindle 1 next to Pixel Qi in all kinds of light. I was surprised at how green the Pixel Qi screen looks, next to the Kindle. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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