David Kirkpatrick

August 24, 2010

This is where tablet e-readers can really shine

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:39 am

Via KurzweilAI.net — Textbooks!

From the link:

Replacing a Pile of Textbooks With an iPad

August 24, 2010

Source: New York Times — Aug 23, 2010

A new company called Inkling hopes to break the standard textbook model and help textbooks enter the interactive age by letting students share and comment on the texts and interact with fellow students, using an iPad.

Other features include interactive graphics within a book and the ability to search text, change the size of the type, purchase individual chapters of books, highlight text for others to see, and take pop quizzes directly within the app.

Photo: Inkling

Read original article

August 11, 2010

Improving displays

And display improvements are increasingly important given the rapid evolution in types of consumer electronics — e-readers, smartphones, more complex touch screens, tablet/pad computers, et.al. — and the different types of high-performance displays needed to maximize these technologies.

The release:

Better displays ahead

IMAGE: This is a prototype of the vertical stack multi-color electrowetting display device is shown in the photograph. Arrays of ~1,000-2,000 pixels were constructed with pixel sizes of 200 × 600…

Click here for more information.

This release is also available in Chinese.College Park, MD (August 10, 2010) — Sleek design and ease of use are just two of the main reasons consumers are increasingly attracted to tablets and e-readers. And these devices are only going to get better — display technology improvements are on the way.

Several e-reader products on the market today use electrophoretic displays, in which each pixel consists of microscopic capsules that contain black and white particles moving in opposite directions under the influence of an electric field. A serious drawback to this technology is that the screen image is closer to black-on-gray than black-on-white. Also, the slow switching speed (~1 second) due to the limited velocity of the particles prevents integration of other highly desirable features such as touch commands, animation, and video.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Nanoelectronics Laboratory are actively pursuing an alternative approach for low-power displays. Their assessment of the future of display technologies appears in the American Institute of Physics’ Applied Physics Letters.

“Our approach is based on the concept of vertically stacking electrowetting devices,” explains professor Andrew J. Steckl, director of the NanoLab at UC’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The electric field controls the ‘wetting’ properties on a fluoropolymer surface, which results in rapid manipulation of liquid on a micrometer scale. Electrowetting displays can operate in both reflective and transmissive modes, broadening their range of display applications. And now, improvements of the hydrophobic insulator material and the working liquids enable EW operation at fairly low driving voltages (~15V).”

Steckl and Dr. Han You, a research associate in the NanoLab, have demonstrated that the vertical stack electrowetting structure can produce multi-color e-paper devices, with the potential for higher resolution than the conventional side-by-side pixel approach. Furthermore, their device has switching speeds that enable video content displays.

What does all of this mean for the consumer? Essentially, tablets and e-readers are about to become capable of even more and look even better doing it. Compared to other technologies, electrowetting reflective display screens boast many advantages. The electrowetting displays are very thin, have a switching speed capable of video display, a wide viewing angle and, just as important, Steckl says, they aren’t power hogs.

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The article, “Three-Color Electrowetting Display Device for Electronic Paper” by Han You and Andrew J. Steckl will appear in the journal Applied Physics Lettershttp://apl.aip.org/applab/v97/i2/p023514_s1

Image Caption: A prototype of the vertical stack multi-color electrowetting display device is shown in the photograph. Arrays of ~1,000-2,000 pixels were constructed with pixel sizes of 200 × 600 and 300 × 900 µm.

ABOUT APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS

Applied Physics Letters, published by the American Institute of Physics, features concise, up-to-date reports on significant new findings in applied physics. Emphasizing rapid dissemination of key data and new physical insights, Applied Physics Letters offers prompt publication of new experimental and theoretical papers bearing on applications of physics phenomena to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. Content is published online daily, collected into weekly online and printed issues (52 issues per year). See: http://apl.aip.org/

ABOUT AIP

The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

January 28, 2010

Watch out Kindle …

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:09 am

the iPad is about to start breathing down your neck.

From the link:

The Kindle DX is the same size as the iPad. It has a black and white E-Ink screen, 4 gigabytes of internal storage, 3G access and costs $489. Meanwhile, the cheapest version of the iPad has a full-color touch screen, a powerful processor and graphics chip, 16 gigabytes of flash storage, Wi-Fi and sells for $499.

The cheaper iPad might not have 3G or the same battery life as the Kindle DX (up to 4 days), but on every other count it wins. It has both a gorgeous screen and vastly more functionality. And, while Amazon has established an excellent, easy way to buy books, iTunes, which already has some 125 million customers, will give it a run for its money.

September 15, 2008

Plastic Logic to launch e-reader in 2009

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:22 am

Looks like very early 2009.

From the link:

This Wednesday, Cambridge University startup Plastic Logic, which is headquartered in Mountain View, CA, will open a factory in Dresden, Germany, that will produce about 11 million large, flexible electronic-paper display units a year. The displays will be used in an electronic reader that the company showed at the Demo conference in San Diego last week. The product, which is scheduled to be commercially launched in January, uses display technology from E Ink and backplane technologies that employ polymer electronics developed by Plastic Logic’s founders at Cambridge University

Plastic Logic is banking that there’s room on the market for another e-book, this one targeted at businesspeople who want to read documents and newspapers on a lightweight, robust device with a large display. Several portable electronic readers already on the market also employ the E Ink display technology and enable users to take thousands of pages of documents on the road. Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader have six-inch screens–about the size of a paperback book. The Readius, made by Polymer Vision–a spinout from Philips Electronics–is the size of a cell phone and has a rollable display that stows away.