Snazzy color-capable screen to elbow aside E Ink? Mary Lou Jepsen’s new multiuse screen to be unveiled in May
April 24, 2009 | 12:18 am
“A low-power black and white mode, an e-paper mode, and a high-resolution color LCD TV mode”—that’s what’s a new screen from PixelQI will offer.
So reports CNET about the ten-incher due to be unveiled in May for netbooks and e-readers. Shipping will happen this summer if all goes as planned.
PixelQI, for those who don’t know, was started by Mary Lou Jepsen, the display whiz behind the One Laptop Per Child screen that is readable even in bright light.
An improved version of newest screen will show up in the XO-2, shown here, the successor to OLPC’s current XO-1.
“When we talked to her about the problems with e-readers, she predicted that LCD would overtake electrophoretic display—aka E-ink—by 2010,” says Gizmodo.
PixelQI says its screens can use existing LCD facilities and thus will be cheaper to crank out than E Ink.
Meanwhile here’s an enticing snippet from the PixelQI site:
Our first screens will be 10" diagonal screens for netbooks and ebook readers that will sample in Spring 2009 and ship in high volume in Summer 2009. These screens rival the best epaper displays on the market today but in addition have video refresh and fully saturated color. The epaper mode has 3 times the resolution of the color HDTV mode allowing for a high resolution reading experience without sacrifice to super color fidelity for graphics. In addition these screens can be used in sunlight. Look for them in the market in the second half of 2009.
Now here’s a question in a Kindle context. What if more-open e-readers, using PixelQI technology, can take business away from the Kindle? Would that reduce Amazon’s leverage over the market and weaken the ties between its hardware/software and and now-Amazon-exclusive content?
Significantly, a good video refresh rate could make it easier for e-books to include annotations generated on portable machines. Amazon in many ways is pretty clueful about the social aspects of e-books. So you never know. Maybe a PixelQI-Amazon deal after all? But will Mary Lou perhaps think about conditions, such as Amazon’s using a more open approach? EPub, Jeff? In return for a ten-inch K2 ahead of time?
Just to emphasize: This is what I’m hoping Mary Lou Jepsen will do with Amazon if it’s among her prospects. I do not mean she will definitely try to or be able to impose the above conditions. Interestingly, however, even OLPC has relied on Amazon for distribution for its Give One Get One program. So you never know (even though Mary Lou is no longer OLPC’s CTO).