E-ink display: Your new flexible friend
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Friday 30 March 2012
Despite the huge strides forward made by e-reading technology, one obvious failure to emulate newsprint is the inability to playfully thwack someone around the head with an e-reader. It would hurt more than you intended; it would also shatter and stop working. Which serves you right for being so violent.
But this week LG has announced a new plastic, flexible, e-ink display: one third of the thinness of a normal display, half the weight, and more resistant to the bangs and scrapes of everyday life. Bendy screens have been predicted as imminent since 2005, but it's only now that big technology companies are unveiling their research. Samsung has been touting a flexible AMOLED display, while blue-sky thinkers at Nokia are talking of a "kinetic device" that lets you scroll pages by twisting, or zooming in and out by bending.
The next breathless wait will be for foldable displays; the LG screen only bends up to an angle of 40 per cent. But having tested it by smacking it with a small urethane hammer, the company is confident that it'll herald a reduction in the number of broken screens. Personally, I keep my own small urethane hammer well away from my smartphone. I hope you do too.
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