A research team from the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has announced a technological development that could deliver “optically rewritable 3D liquid crystal displays” that do “not need any power to hold the image after being uploaded.” In other words, they are pioneering a technology that can produce a color, 3D equivalent to epaper, with the same durability and low power consumption.
The abstract focuses (sic.) mostly on the development of an auto-stereoscopic method of producing goggle-free 3D images involving “holograms or the projection of the two images directly in to the human eye through parallax barrier and lens array.” However, the application of the technology to ereading solutions is obvious. The team’s solution involves a ORWLCD panel “divided in to three parts with different image appearance, i.e., one for the left eye, a second for the right eye, and a third for the background and front of the image,” using a sulfonic azo dye for the optically active layer.
It’s hard to know how far this builds on the HKUST-developed technology originally covered by TeleRead in 2007, but the university appears to be buildng up quite a specialization in this area. Commercialization may be a while in coming, but this could be worth waiting for.