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Plastic Logic Shows Off a Color ePaper Screen

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the technology-that-should-totally-be-here-by-now dept.

Displays 50

Nate the greatest writes "I'm sure you've heard about the color E-ink screen which was rumored to be used on the next Kindle. As of today, E-ink no longer has that market niche to themselves. Plastic Logic held a press conference in Russia this morning where they unveiled a new color screen that uses their plastic-based screen tech. The resolution is low (75ppi), but if the video is any sign, then this might be a better screen than the 9.7" Triton color E-ink screen used on the Jetbook Color. And that's not all Plastic Logic showed off this morning; they also developed a frontlight for their screen, and they can play video at 12 frames per second. But best of all, they cut one of their screens in half just to show that it could still work."

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50 comments

That's all nice but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39999843)

Can you wipe your ass with it when you're done reading?

[captcha is "trailers" which you're likely to get when you shmear your butt with this plastic stuf]

And, oh yeah: FROSTST PISTS

These are issues, folks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000247)

You know, you Slashtards may not like it but I'm both giving you comedy gold here AND asking the important questions no one dares to ask.

Re:These are issues, folks... (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000513)

The question is moot. With WIFI access, one is never done reading.

Parenting (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39999877)

Ahhh, this will make parenting a little easier.
Kid 1: "It's my turn!!"
Kid 2: "I need to check my FB!"
Kid 1: "You used the tablet all day yesterday!"
Kid 2: "DID NOT!"
Me: "Here, give me that blasted thing."
Whips out tin snips.
"Half for you, and half for you."

Too expensive for its size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000027)

$800 for a 640 x 480 12 bit display the same size as an A4 sheet of paper ?

Re:Too expensive for its size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000751)

Maybe today.

Re:Too expensive for its size (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40003819)

$800 for a 640 x 480 12 bit display the same size as an A4 sheet of paper ?

How much did you pay for your smartphone? Here. I'll trade you this brick for it. Not only is the brick heavier (and more like you), but it's more dense (much like you).

Re:Too expensive for its size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40004471)

Wow man, are you on the rag today? Did your puppy die?

Or are you just a dick all the time?

plasticLogic == vaporware (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000043)

For readers who might not be aware, PlasticLogic went bankrupt a year or two ago, prior to that they made splash about its "plastic" (== "cheaper") e-ink type of screens. Taught shit, no one wanted to buy $600 e-readers. Later on, it was bought out by Russian investment company who wanted to make e-reader for schools (National e-reader).

Re:plasticLogic == vaporware (3, Informative)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000087)

I don't see any mention of bankruptcy? [wikipedia.org]

They shut down their plans for Que but other than that...

Yet, they still employ people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40003671)

At least in their production / pilot facility in Dresden, Germany.
I have been in contact with them professionally.

Re:Yet, they still employ people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40003827)

I have been in contact with them professionally.

And I've been in contact with your dad, professionally. Doesn't mean I believe everything that cums out of him.

Re:Yet, they still employ people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40004353)

Uhm, you're doing it wrong.

There's a reason why there are no "Your poppa's so fat" jokes.

watch the video ffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40001151)

i just watched a man cut it fricken half! with scissors and it still worked flawlessly, it exists and it works, certainly good enough for all kinds of flexible, curved interfaces, its a step forward for sure.

the only question now is how cheap, how fast
get it down to $5 for an A4/A5 and it opens loads of avenues

Re:plasticLogic == vaporware (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001183)

You are partially wrong, it was iRex the ones who filed for bankrupcy [fiercemobilecontent.com] . Nevertheless, I agree on the Plastic Logic vaporware thing. I even remember they took pre-orders. At that time i was deciding which eReader to get.

Re:plasticLogic == vaporware (2)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001855)

The Que looked fucking awesome. I was rather distraught when they canceled it (and bought a kindle dx graphite).

Re:plasticLogic == vaporware (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005795)

not sure about the ch11 stuff but you are definitely right, they are vaporware with no products really ever reaching consumer hands.

Another vaporware "article" - lovely. (5, Informative)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000071)

A pretty weak "article" that has 3 links to some blog and one to laptop mag, and the still vaporware product is from a company the blogger pretty much wrote off 2 years ago.

*This* is what makes it to the front page now? Wow..

Re:Another vaporware "article" - lovely. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000833)

If you want only articles about existing products - go visit a catalogue or review site.

If you want to learn about interesting technology and things people are experimenting with, then stay here, but don't whine about everything not yet at production stage being "vaporware"

Re:Another vaporware "article" - lovely. (1, Troll)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001947)

Excuse me, but who was whining? I certainly wasn't.

If I want to learn about interesting technology, I'll go to reddit or hacker news. It certainly isn't here anymore, sorry. The glory days of Slashdot are long gone and this place is looking like Digg more and more every day.

But thanks for your completely irrelevant comment anyway.

Re:Another vaporware "article" - lovely. (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40003147)

Never has a sig been so apt.

75ppi or 175? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000139)

The Russian PR guy says 175ppi in at least one of the videos.

75 ppi... (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000159)

If you can produce something at 75 ppi that's intended to be held at standard reading distance, then you're just fine - you're relatively close to computer monitor spacing anyways and you're really not that far off from the standard printing dimensions of a paperback book.

If you're expecting someone to hold it up to their eyeballs for cheap laser surgery [wikipedia.org] (or hell, a pattern of eyeball abuse that'll cause them to need laser surgery eventually), then maybe you want more pixels. Not that it'll really help you, you'd do better with a pair of reading glasses anyways.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000481)

1/75 of an inch held at 12 inches from the face takes up 3.1 arc minutes of viewing area. The human eye's resolution is about 16 arcseconds - over an order of magnitude better. Most people with good vision would almost certainly notice a level of blockiness and poor quality.

Apple's retina display is the first one I've seen that I don't notice individual pixels on unless I'm paying attention for them.

Re:75 ppi... (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000511)

Ever held a paperback book that close to your face to read it? Notice the type looking a little bit "blocky"? Notice how you can see the flaws in the printing process?

No different. 75 ppi is just fine for an e-reader. And no respectable optometrist EVER recommends holding the book at that distance. Hold it at standard reading distance instead (say, 24 inches or higher) and run that calculation.

Re:75 ppi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40000585)

75dpi is not fine for an e-reader.

On a conventional screen size of 6", that's only going to give around 200 by 380 pixels. You can't render any sensible quantity of readable text in that, you idiot.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000743)

If you're trying to render an entire "page" of text all in one go, sure.

If you're willing to scroll paragraph by paragraph and see a quantity of readable text at a time, not so much [wikipedia.org] .

I swear, you kids are spoiled.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001137)

When you read pages "all in one go", as it were, being able to see the entire page at once is extremely important. For people who read more quickly, the additional effort of panning and scrolling is going to create a significant interruption in the reading process, and absorbing the text, as a person must redirect their attention to manipulating a UI, instead of just reading, which requires nothing more than normal eye cadences, and occasional page flips.

FWIW, pagination interrupts the flow of reading too, but since the human field of vision is finite anyways, there's ultimately only so much data you can fit into a person's field of view at one time anyways. At least entire pages generally consist of multiple paragraphs, each several sentences long, and one would not have to be constantly scrolling after almost every sentence read.

Re:75 ppi... (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001171)

Please learn to post without block-quoting everything into an unreadable gray mass. That's far more annoying than having smaller pagination breaks.

Thank you.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001365)

It's not the first time I've accidentally hit submit when I meant to hit preview. My apologies for the bad netiquette, but slashdot does not see fit to provide us with an "edit" button, if the submitter only realizes that he has mistyped something after its been posted.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001523)

And no respectable optometrist EVER recommends holding the book at that distance. Hold it at standard reading distance instead (say, 24 inches or higher) and run that calculation.

I measured 24 inches from my eyes, and in order to do so, I had to old the measuring tape up with my fingertips, with my arms fully extended. No optometrist in his right mind would recommend such a large reading distance. Maybe for TV viewing, but not reading.

Typical reading distance is 14-16 inches. So although 12 inches might be slightly close, your suggested reading distance is so far beyond normal that only an orangutan can achieve it.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40001529)

Err... had to hold the measuring tape....

And this, folks, is why over-reliance on automatic spell checking is harmful. *sigh*

Re:75 ppi... (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40003853)

Err... had to hold the measuring tape....

And this, folks, is why over-reliance on automatic spell checking is harmful. *sigh*

Hey, stop picking on the OP for a spelling mistake - he made a perfectly cromulent point. Besides, if you keep going all grammar/spelling nazi on him, you'll him some sort disassociative disorder and he'll never be a productive member of society.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40004147)

75 ppi is just fine for an e-reader.

No it isn't. :) It's in the same ballpark than a 15" 1024x768, pixel size being around 0.3 mm. You would have to double the pixel density for it to be good for an e-reader.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40004397)

75dpi was the resolution of most 1980s dot matrix printers.

It was awful. The only way you could get relatively decent quality print out of them was to use an over-printing capability that appeared mid way through that decade that effectively trebled the resolution vertically, and a "condensed" mode that increased it by about 80% horizontally. That would give you something that meant that Times Roman at 15pt or better was just about decent, and at 12pt was just about readable. Anything smaller, and it wasn't.

And, FWIW, most computer monitors are 96dpi or better, AND have extremely fine grained intensity on each pixel - even a "bad" screen has at least 64 levels of light, making credible anti-aliasing possible.

I'm sorry, but 75ppi/dpi/whatever is NOT good enough for an eReader. It's not high enough quality for a decent font at a decent size. Reading a book requires a good, well designed, serif font.

Re:75 ppi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40003837)

1/75 of an inch held at 12 inches from the face takes up 3.1 arc minutes of viewing area. The human eye's resolution is about 16 arcseconds - over an order of magnitude better. Most people with good vision would almost certainly notice a level of blockiness and poor quality.

Apple's retina display is the first one I've seen that I don't notice individual pixels on unless I'm paying attention for them.

Can you define order of magnitude? I believe your definition is different than mine. OH WAIT, You're still in the reality distortion bubble, my mistake.

Carry on, good sir!

Re:75 ppi... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013213)

order of magnitude = power of ten.

3.1 arc-minutes = 186 arc-seconds.

186 arc-seconds/16 arc-seconds = 11.625, which is more than ten.

Hence more than an order of magnitude better.

Re:75 ppi... (2)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40000955)

According to Wikipedia, the current eInk Kindles are all about 68 [wikipedia.org] ppi. So this screen would be as good (if not better) than the current Kindles in that department.

Unfortunately, this screen looks like it lacks color saturation, which seems to be a common trait among all color eInk displays. It's a big improvement over previous displays, but I still wouldn't put it in a product yet. People would immediately put it next to LCD displays, and compared to the display on a $60 "might as well sell it at the drugstore" tablet, it would look bad.

Re:75 ppi... (2)

alphamax (1176593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40002159)

According to Wikipedia, the current eInk Kindles are all about 68 [wikipedia.org] ppi. So this screen would be as good (if not better) than the current Kindles in that department.

Unfortunately, this screen looks like it lacks color saturation, which seems to be a common trait among all color eInk displays. It's a big improvement over previous displays, but I still wouldn't put it in a product yet. People would immediately put it next to LCD displays, and compared to the display on a $60 "might as well sell it at the drugstore" tablet, it would look bad.

If you follow your own link, you will see that according to Wikipedia, current eInk Kindles are about 67 ppcm, which is around 169 ppi. So this screen isn't half as good as the current Kindles in that department.

Re:75 ppi... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40003157)

If they can get the contrast closer to actual paper on b&w I'll be happy.

Fragility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40001303)

Will the screen crack when I put it in my luggage like my Kindle?

Re:Fragility (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40002057)

Perhaps you missed the linked videos... but they actually show how flexible the display is as well as how tolerable it is to cutting it in half!

Bill

Re:Fragility (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40003863)

Perhaps you missed the linked videos... but they actually show how flexible the display is as well as how tolerable it is to cutting it in half! Bill

Yeah, but flexibility is different than resistance to cracks, impact and shearing. Two different types of force.

I never thought I'd say this, but I think we need more engineers on slashdot.

How big will they get? (3, Interesting)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 2 years ago | (#40002673)

I'd love some colour e-ink displays that are 3ft by 4ft, perfect for posters on your walls that only use power when you want to change the picture - and they'd literally be just the display, the device that 'uploads' the new picture would contain most of (all?) the necessary driver circuitry.

Re:How big will they get? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40004181)

Cool idea!

Re:How big will they get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40005401)

yeah but the wallpaper and paint companies will bully that one out of existence :(

Arcade cabinets (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005377)

If they can make them larger, with more color saturation and cut-it-and-it-still-works-fine properties, they'll be the perfect thing to make dynamic marquees for arcade cabinets.

Two Words that decide my Book Reader: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40006375)

Battery Life?

I'll believe it when I see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40006897)

I saw their marketing promo a few years ago for their black and white one which was going to revolutionize everything and never materialized. I'll believe this one when i see it.

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