The Pocketable Portable With A Roll-Out Screen

Electronic paper – myth or round-the-corner? Will we ever be able to roll out a decent sized screen from a mobile device?

 

On Tuesday, Plastic Logic’s CEO, Indro Mukerjee, showed me a 10.7″ plastic display which was better than bendy but not quite yet rollable.

 

Moves are afoot to put the driver ICs on the plastic and shrink the connectors.

 

“We can print substantial transistor arrays on an industrial scale,” says Mukerjee, “we have worked out how to make them on a mass scale from organic materials. We’re at the start of a real electronic paper revolution.”

 

The company is currently selling bendable displays based on their own backplane and an e-ink display which can be overlaid by a capacitive touch layer. “Yields are comparable to the LCD industry,” says Mukerjee

 

Colour filters have been developed. Current displays are reflective, but Plastic Logic is putting LEDs on the edges of the device to deliver front-light illumination.

 

It has also developed see-through backplanes which could be put onto spectacles, head-up displays and car windscreens.

 

Moves are a-foot to weave the technology onto other materials.

 

The company is also selling IP to enhance the visual experience of e-ink displays. “We have developed algorithms which can enhance e-ink screens,” says Mukerjee, “how you drive the columns and rows is an art-form.”

 

The displays withstand 10m refresh cycles and have a five year life-time which gets them into the consumer industry.

 

It’s promising stuff. A pocketable device with a six inch plus screen would be a transformational catalyst to the phone/tablet/notebook mix.

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2 Comments

  1. David Manners
    May 23, 2012 11:07

    Yes Ian they’ve still got a tough row to hoe. They’re not talking about production cost which seems to be a bugbear still.

  2. Ian
    May 23, 2012 06:14

    I wonder whether Plastic Logic are eventually going to resolve all their issues at just exactly the moment when a different technological innovation renders them pointless. Theirs is a frustrating story.

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