Liquidvista Hoping For Color E-Ink-Like Displays In 2011

Few people will argue that Apple's iPad has put a serious kink in the plans of ereader companies, and devices such as Amazon's Kindle now have to re-think how they'll market themselves. The iPad can easily last ten hours, and it supports illustrations and far richer text than any current e-ink display; now, ereaders are at a big disadvantage. But electronic ink still has a big advantage--it requires far less power than LCDs, so if battery life is of the utmost concern, there's still no beating it.

But most people would probably give e-ink another look if it could manage color, and if it could refresh faster. A Dutch company by the name of Liquavista is working hard on developing just that. The company has been working on e-ink technology for awhile now, but as of now, no products are shipping that use it. The company plans to change that fact soon, with their "electrowetting" technology to be available by the middle of 2011.  Guy Demuynck, who runs the company, said that this technology could go a lot farther than being in simple ereaders. Finding their technology in a phone, a tablet, or even a notebook could all happen.

What's unique about this new technology is that unlike e-ink, it can be used to play back video and color images, with a refresh rate of 50 or 60 frames per second. It can also work without a backlight, which isn't true for LCDs. But screens such as this in notebooks could finally solve the problem of not being able to create a laptop that lasts 10+ hours. Developing a new screen seems far easier than developing a new battery technology, but it's still too early to tell if this new screen will be affordable and easy to implement. Visit the BBC link below for a brief video on the technology.