Every so often someone predicts a breakthrough in "electronic paper," which could supplant backlit screens for reading text and looking at pictures. Power consumption would be greatly reduced and readability improved. A prototype for a full color version of E Ink's electronic paper being readied for next year might be the tipping point.
If it can achieve that, McQuivey said, E Ink could threaten to displace the cheap and ubiquitous liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), while revolutionizing how we think about reading.
Electronic billboards, for example, would no longer need to be bulky or costly to erect. They could be hung from just about any wall or folded into the back of a car for easy transport.
"It's so clearly apparent when you use the technology that it could revolutionize so many screens in our lives and it could put screens on things that don't have them but could or should," said McQuivey.