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February 08, 2011

Researchers Predict Future of Electronic Devices

The e-Sheet, a virtually indestructible e-device, will be as thin and as rollable as a rubber mat.

University of Cincinnati and Industry Researchers Predict Future of Electronic Devices, See Top Ten List of Expected Breakthroughs

Society for Information Display - A Critical Review of the Present and Future Prospects for Electronic Paper.

* full-color, high-speed, low-power e-readers;
* iPads that can be viewed in bright sunlight, or
* e-readers and iPads so flexible that they can be rolled up and put in a pocket.






Coming later this year:

* Color e-readers will be out in the consumer market by mid year in 2011. However, cautions Heikenfeld, the color will be muted as compared to what consumers are accustomed to, say, on an iPad. Researchers will continue to work toward next-generation (brighter) color in e-Readers as well as high-speed functionality that will eventually allow for point-and-click web browsing and video on devices like the Kindle.

Already in use but expansive adoption and breakthoughs imminent

* Electronic shelf labels in grocery store

Such electronic shelf labels are already in use in Europe and the West Coast and in limited, experimental use in other locales. The breakthrough for use of such electronic labels came when they could be implemented as low-power devices. Will there be enough gains in flexible and responsive pricing to justify the cost difference over cheaper labels ?

* The new “no knobs” etch-a-sketch

children to draw with electronic ink and erase the whole screen with the push of a button

* Technology in hot-selling Glow Boards will soon come to signage

indoor and outdoor sign displays that when turned off, seem to be clear windows.

Coming within two years

An e-device that will consume little power while also providing high function and color (video playing and web browsing) while also featuring good visibility in sunlight

Coming within three to five years

Color adaptable e-device casings - color and pattern changing covers for cellphones and appliances

* Bright-color but low-power digital billboards visible both night and day.

Instead of LED digital billboards, ones that work on reflected ambient light

* Foldable or roll-it-up e-devices.
Expect that the first-generation foldable e-devices will be monochrome. Color will come later. The first foldable e-devices will come from Polymer Vision in the Netherlands. Color is expected later, using licensed UC-developed technology.


Within ten to 20 years:

* e-Devices with magazine-quality color, viewable in bright sunlight but requiring low power. “Think of this as the green iPad or e-Reader, combining high function and high color with low power requirements.” said Heikenfeld.

In ten to 20 years, consumers will see e-devices with magazine-quality color, viewable in bright sunlight but requiring low power.

* The e-Sheet, a virtually indestructible e-device that will be as thin and as rollable as a rubber place mat


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