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Polymer Vision Produces 5" Rollable Displays

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the interesting-techology dept.

Displays 283

drquizas writes "Polymer Vision (associated with Philips) has produced a rollable display using organic electronic techniques. The display, currently measuring 5" diagonal and capable of displaying QVGA at 320x240, will eventually be targeted towards applications such as military uses (maps anyone?), newspapers and e-books."

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283 comments

First Allah ! (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099616)

Allah is teh ninnle on teh spoke !

Re:First Allah ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099773)

pls updt ur sig. thx. ^~^

"Yes" (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099847)

"Dork, you make me cry"
(remember this stupid reference ? this even got stupider when Taco published its "wedding photographs" where only his boyfriends appeared, unlike the bride which I now suspect is a concept... or coboikneel -or whatever this fat tubby bitch is calling itself)

important factoid, (1, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099622)

for the momment, it's monochrome.. still, a million a year-

I for one look forward to rolling up my new overlords.

re; the mill (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099653)

I was reading the cnet article this morning,
it says that phillips should be ready to make a million a year by 2005

http://news.com.com/2100-1041-5147643.html?t ag=cd_top

Re:important factoid, (5, Insightful)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099693)

for the momment, it's monochrome

Much like many newspapers. And we know how poor they are at displaying information.

Re:important factoid, (2, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099924)

for the momment, it's monochrome

Much like many newspapers

ah, but how many newspapers are 5" in diameter?

Re:important factoid, (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099935)

Yeah, but printing quality isn't why most are so bad at displaying information.

Re:important factoid, (1)

iamthemoog (410374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100018)

Great, but just don't forget and do the crossword with a pen...

Re:important factoid, (3, Insightful)

FosterSJC (466265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099715)

Actually, the production line they have built can only produce 5000 units per year. As they say, this is more than research, but less than commercial production. Also, this unit only produces black, white, and 4 types of gray. So don't expect to be able to take your pr0n with you on the road just yet in electric, rollable form.

Re:important factoid, (1, Offtopic)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099812)

"So don't expect to be able to take your pr0n with you on the road just yet in electric, rollable form."

I don't know about you, but depending on how it's dithered, I can use my imagination to fill in the color... :)

Re:important factoid, (1)

sadomikeyism (677964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099875)

Just looked at their videos of their products 'flexibility'. It isn't much more flexible than a credit card. Ho hum...

roll it up... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099636)

and burn it down.

In a word; (2, Informative)

Darken_Everseek (681296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099638)

Cool.

Look like they might have come up with something to satisfy people like me. I love the idea of electronic books; but I'd miss being able to turn the page. Plus, if the electronic ink is as readable as they say, no worries about eyestrain.

Re:In a word; (1, Interesting)

1SmartOne (744638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099700)

In Tablet PCs they have this neat mercury switch that allows you to tilt the tablet right to flip forward or left to flip backward. I'm sure that they'd implement this into the new books eventually.

That way you can still flip the pages. :)

-Scott

Re:In a word; (1)

Darken_Everseek (681296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100036)

Cool .. but not the same as physically flipping over a piece of paper in an actual book. It's the tactile sensation that I'd miss.

Important fact (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099646)

Howard Dean is an unstable raving lunatic.

Dean's a bad a stiff as Hillary (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099794)

West Des Moines, January 26, 2004 - They came to town, tried to get your vote and then left for New Hampshire.

But one presidential candidate may have left a big bill for a small West Des Moines deli. The campaigns ate, drank and slept at dozens of places across town. For the most part they paid their bills.

This is how it's supposed to work inside the Brown Bag Deli. Owner Scott Hoffman makes you a turkey sandwich and then you pay for it.

Scott will tell you deliveries are a little different, especially one back on the 16th of this month. That was a big order for this small business of four employees. 200 brown bag specials...with turkey, roast beef, ham and veggie sandwiches. The total...$963.01.

As he headed out that day, Scott remembered this customer has paid its bills late a couple times before. So he promised delivery this time with one condition, "c.o.d."

He showed up at the customer's downtown office just in time for lunch. The Dean headquarters was utter chaos. But he couldn't find anyone who'd pay him. They said try the other building next door. Same answer next door, try the other building. Scott went back and forth for 20 minutes. Nobody would pay.

He just assumed they would pay in good faith. After all, Dick Gephardt's campaign paid its lunch bills on time. And Howard Dean has thousands of followers in Iowa. Can't one of them give Scott his money?

We tried all day to reach Howard Dean's people-- no comment from them yet. By the way, Scott Hoffman says he considered himself a possible Dean supporter before the incident. He's since changed his mind.

We're checking unpaid debts from other campaigns and haven't found any yet.

color shifting paint jobs on cars ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099647)

Could this also be the first step to color changing cars ?

Wrap the body of the car in this flexible lcd screen

Attach to onboard pc and change the color of the car via a simple control panel ?

Chased by the cops, loose them for a second, change the color of the car, and your free and clear...

Re:color shifting paint jobs on cars ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099660)

doooooooooooooooooooooooood, back off the GTA man, yer loosin it!

Re:color shifting paint jobs on cars ? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099877)

Colour changing cars? First step? Pearlescent paint?

Actually, you're an idiot.

Re:color shifting paint jobs on cars ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8100078)

Pearlescent paint is color shifting, ie: red and blue or what ever you choose blending into each other

the idea was for solid colors. 1 second, white car, next second, black car

why am i a idiot ? Cause im thinking of a way to use a new technology ? Or are you the idiot for being scared of embrassing new technologies.

IMPORTANT WARNING FROM GNAA PRESIDENT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099650)

attention all GNAA affiliates:

Without Goatse, we will not be able to stretch to accomodate some of our more generous members, so we are asking you to practice celibacy until Goatse is restored.

Alternatively, consult your local priest and ask if he would be willing to share. Thank you for your attention.

Use (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099655)

This sounds like it's a bit small for the need to be rolled up. It happens to be the same resolution as the Pocket PC I'm coding for at my job, and it is rather small. I guess perhaps this could be merely a proof of concept to show they can do something like this, while they work on making something bigger.

Re:Use (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100053)

Forget rolling it up, the question is whether you can sit on it without cracking it in half like an LCD.

Wallpaper (5, Funny)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099656)

With this on my walls and those window LCD's [slashdot.org] I can finally live my dream of never leaving my parents' basement!

Re:Basement (1)

danknight (570145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099741)

Ahh... Yess.. the first steps to building your own Holo-Basement !!

I'm looking forward to my big-screen windowshades (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099659)

That would be quite truly excellent.

Re:I'm looking forward to my big-screen windowshad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099679)

For a really, really big window, see here [goat.cx] .

Could Make Exams more interesting :-) (4, Funny)

osullish (586626) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099666)

"Whats that you have on you desk? This is an exam young man!"
"Oh Just a sheet of paper and a calculator teacher"

Military maps? Why? (5, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099670)

At least if you've got the paper kind you don't have to worry about it crashing, breaking, running out of power, etc. And with the paper kind, you can easily mark way points, targets, etc in seconds - doing that with a software-based system won't be half as fast.

I can't imagine a field commander taking along one of these without wanting a paper map as a backup. The last thing you want to do in a combat zone is be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Re:Military maps? Why? (3, Insightful)

Docrates (148350) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099711)

how about real time placement of military resources, GIS info by clicking on a building, status and other info by clicking on troop, tanks, etc. (asuming they can pair this up with touch screen functionality which I'm guessing they can).

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099997)

Potentially a good idea but if you can "see" where your troops are electronically and are in constant two-way electronic communication with them then wouldn't your enemy will be able to "see" where they are too? He might not be able to accurately determine force strengths but he the presence of that EM communication would be a dead giveaway that someone was there.

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099746)

That sounds more like an interface issue than a use issue.
I can quite easily envision a commander setting waypoints and targets on his electronic screen, then hitting a "send" button of some sort, and having the waypoints and targets sent to the people he's commanding. Hell, it shouldn't be too much of an issue to assign individual or unit objectives with just a few taps.

Of course, as to your second point, what field commander goes anywhere without appropriate backups in place? Just because GPS is widely used doesn't mean they shouldn't take along a compass and map, does it?

Re:Military maps? Why? (5, Informative)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099777)

I actually at the moment work for the military in the mission planning field. Much of the mission planning that is already done is done on computers. Some plains ( bigger ones) carry laptops to be able to replay their mission in flight if needed. I'd think the advantage in something like this is as much in the fact that it will not shatter or crack when dropped/ stepped on ect. Not to mention it is lightweight.

Re:Military maps? Why? (2, Interesting)

erwin (8773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099940)

The article did mention that the material has a 2cm bend radius, so it still might have a problem if it gets crushed.

Re:Military maps? Why? (2, Interesting)

Torg (59213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100117)

As a military member who suffers from military planners I can assure you we would rather have paper maps.

Without the map you are dead meat. With anything electronic I have to depend upon power, end of statment.

Yes we use technology. Yes it helps us. But when it counts, I want my compass and a map (and that tactical overlay).

Re:Military maps? Why? (5, Insightful)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099815)

"A computer with a bullet hole is a paper weight, but a map with a bullet hole is still a map."

I read that on Slashdot ages ago, sorry don't remember who said it!

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099948)

Both of which you have to take off some guy with a bullet hole in him, too.

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099988)

That's a technical problem that can be solved, though. Something to think about.

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

redherring22 (579425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099829)

yes but these displays + a GPS unit can give a field commander a big fat "YOU ARE HERE"... and with additional intelligence that is gathered elsewhere, such a display can be instantly updated to say "THEY ARE THERE- DUCK!"

Re:Military maps? Why? (2, Insightful)

etn991 (626061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099903)

I agree having a paper map is still very important as a backup. However, having a digital map would allow the soldier/field commander to be able to have several map resolutions easily and quickly available. Also update-able with current friendly positions to avoid friendly-fire kills.

Actually, marking things on paper maps is a perfectly good way to give information to the enemy in the event of capture. So an electronic map with either biometric (fingerprint) scanning for access or an 'erase me I've been captured' button would be an improvement in that area as well.

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099950)

Biometrics makes no sense. If you're captured, you're hands get captured too. But if your APC is hit by a HE round and you've sufferered burns to your hands then you're going to be pissed off that you can't see where you've been stranded because your map won't recognise your fingerprint.

Re:Military maps? Why? (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099998)

One of the major complaints of the troops in Iraq is battery life. Everything has batteries in it. Even the helmets have battery packs.

GPS was a necessary tool in the dessert. The land is kinda flat and sand colored. All of it. There are no reference points and navigating on land becomes equivilent to navigating at sea. The "map" is a sand colored chart you can plot your points on, not so much a reference you can use to get from one place to another.

They loved laptops, but only because they could power them from a vehicle. They were issued PDAs but found them fairly useless because the battery life was too short in the field.

It's the new, high tech army, sponsored by Duracell and the Energizer Bunny.

There are some obvious advantages to this display. Of course it's light, it uses little power, in some respects it can be used as a chart. You can mark it. It doesn't physically break anymore than a plastic placemat breaks. It's water proof. So long as it get data the single display can be any map the data source has access to so you don't need to be lugging around huge stacks of charts.

But the biggest thing that negates some of the advantages this display has is that it is inherently static state. That is to say it only needs to be powered to change the display. Not only does that mean very little power drain in use, it means once an image is displayed it can be completely disconected from the power and any other device and the image remains.

That's pretty frickin' cool.

I'm already planning (I've already read about this thing) to use a screen like this for the electronic navigation system of a new boat. Take a GPS reading, or display a bit of chart, turn it off and the reading/chart remains. One brief flash of power than off again.

On the other hand if you think I'm going bluewater without a chronometer and sextant you're nuts. I always expect electronic gear to fail about the second day out. I'm often right.

KFG

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

freidog (706941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100014)

Can A paper map be updated with the locations of all friendly and reported enemy units in your area in real time automatically?
Can it update your position with everyone who needs to know in real time automatically?
Can it be updated in real time to include new areas should the need arise?

I absolutely agree that a paper map is still a requirement, you can't count on high tech gadgets to work flawlessly all the time,
but the amount of information small, flexible, simple to use devices like this can put into the infantry soldier's hands is incredible.

Re:Military maps? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8100028)

> The last thing you want to do in a combat zone is be in
> the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or anywhere near the Chinese embassy.

Re:Military maps? Why? (1)

Wattsman (75726) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100082)

I agree that the unit commander will want a print out, but the displays are useful.
From what I saw in the demo, the display only needs power when it changes what is on the screen. So if it's without power, it'll still have the same map showing.

On a side note, this is the first step to a Global (the cellphone device used in Earth: Final Conflict).

Don't tell the stoners.... (0)

inf0mike (676125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099681)

Wow man, REAL swirly colours on them doobies...

The only thing that worries me is SPAM (4, Insightful)

10101001011 (744876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099682)

That is all I need, being able to check the latest newspaper only to find SPAM and ads. I've seen it happen to the Internet in general, to AVantGo, even to MobiPocket (thankfully not as much). I do truly hope this works out as it seems like it would be pretty cool. I'm thinking those REWARD FOR LOST DOG posters could be VERY interesting ;)

Re:The only thing that worries me is SPAM (0)

1SmartOne (744638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099762)

Spam is getting worse.

Have you heard of the location based cellular services? Soon restaurants will be able to page you, saying come to our place and don't wait in line, etc.

50% Charmin at Target!!

-Scott

Re:The only thing that worries me is SPAM (2, Interesting)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099826)

yeah, because newspapers don't have ANY annoying advertisements...

[/sarcasm]

Re:The only thing that worries me is SPAM (1)

SW6 (140530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100097)

yeah, because newspapers don't have ANY annoying advertisements...

Last I checked, adverts in newspapers didn't flash at you, cause the newspaper to be... slow... to... read..., or use some dodgy crash-prone plug-in that makes the paper disappear half way through reading it.

Re:The only thing that worries me is SPAM (1)

calethix (537786) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099966)

I guess you didn't hear.. spam will be gone [yahoo.com] in a couple of years so no need to worry ;)

One word: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099689)

The Video Condom.

Just slide it on, hook up to the DVD player, throw in a Brad Pitt movie, and wait.

Oh yeah, baby. Who's got puddin'?

Okay, more than one word. Screw you, taxpayer.

great gadget for ... one summer? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099697)

from the article: ...
Further, "the life of our organic electronics displays has been already prolonged from "hours to months," he added.

Oh cool! (1)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099706)

Now I don't have to keep a newpaper around anymore to smack flies!

neat but... (1)

zasos (688522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099727)

It's all good but I'll be more excited about either
-a holographic technology for a computer display purposes (not likely any time soon in a compact form due to power requirements) - or to have a flexible display / touch screen in one to get read of keyboards and increase vieable area in laptops...

than again, in the words of Homer Simpson, "I am not easily excited.."

Interesting Application - Retail (0)

1SmartOne (744638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099732)

A number of vendors are going to be rolling this out (no pun intended) as previously mentioned on /.. It would work really well to display prices and have a wi-fi adaptable update so that they can change prices system wide without lifting a finger. Think of the money they could save in labor. -Scott

Great for newspapers (4, Interesting)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099733)

Imagine having one of these displays with a little USB hookup, a couple of page turning buttons, and nothing else. If the price drops enough, newspapers could sell them to customers along with a subscription service that allows them to download the morning's paper before they head off to work. No more recycling, no more ink-stained fingers...

I realize this is already sort of possible with laptops/pda's, etc.. but there's something comforting about a convenient rolled up paper on the bus ride in. Plus it can be used to swat pesky mosquitos!

Re:Great for newspapers (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099985)

Last week I got a phone call from the local newspaper. I knew immediately they were going to try to get me to subscribe. Here is the conversation as I remember it

Them:
"Our information says you aren't currently receiving home delivery, is that correct?"

Me:
"Yeah, I don't need the paper"

Them:
"You don't?"

Me:
"No, there's this new invention called the internet"

Them:
"Oh, ok....."

I love how they didn't have anything in their script to handle that. It was great. I imagine the telemarketer going out to look for another job. Newspapers are going to die, shit!

but there's something comforting about a convenient rolled up paper on the bus ride in

That's all in your head man. Something comforting, give me a break. The only thing holding back newer technologies are people who are reluctant to change. They have this feeling of comfort in what is old and obsolete. It's not real, the newspaper doesn't actually comfort you. You just have a psychologically connection to it. Since its just thoughts in your head you can get rid of that and read the news online, like an intelligent person. Save some trees, save some time, no more ink-stained fingers... It's possible now. The only limit, is yourself.

portability (4, Insightful)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099745)


This is pretty cool, but the picture that shows up on the display has to be generated from some data source or CPU-carrying device. If you plug in your rollable display to a laptop/PDA, it isn't nearly as cool.

Alternatively, the screen could just store one image permanently. In which case it would be just expensive, unreliable paper.

That being said, I am all for the technology. When they can make a transparent sticker that can be turned on as a TV/monitor, I would buy one. Forget flatscreen, your TV would just be a sheet of glass on a stand. That would be cool.

Re:portability (1)

marktoml (48712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099832)

Given the small sizes of the CPU packages these days (tiny PDAs, tiny cell-phones w/color displays, etc) how long do you think it will be before the TV appears to be nothing more than a sheet of plastic?

Can they make condoms out of this stuff? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099757)

Just a thought.

It's just going to get worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099759)

With these new types of screens, if economies of scale can get the price down low enough, you know somebody is going to put them all over their car.

That's all we need. Rolling advertisements. Frankly, I don't want to see popup ads while I'm stuck in traffic.

hmm... 2cm bending radius? Condom spam anybody?

Wallpaper (2, Insightful)

Tarwn (458323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099760)

I could swear I saw an article on a similar product recently, but the company was working on both rollable displays and paint on screens to use as customizeable wall paper (hmm...I'm in a mauve flower mood today...). trying to find the link but it was a few weeks ago and it was one of those middle-of-the-night, can't-sleep, random walks through the internet.

Re:Wallpaper (2, Informative)

Tarwn (458323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099835)

Ah ha found the company, if not the article:
http://www.prisma-techniek.nl/latestnews _lcd.htm

Of course I would feel better about the company if they didn't have the MS sample picture as part of the front of their website...

No more dead tree media (2, Interesting)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099768)

This is good news for paper reduction. I suppose it is also good news for squirrels and other tree loving animals...

Re:No more dead tree media (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099974)

This is good news for paper reduction. I suppose it is also good news for squirrels and other tree loving animals...

Lots of woodland is only there because the trees can be sold. If you reduce a big market for wood (paper), you will redue the amount of woodland.

Mind you, much of the managed woodland is green desert anyway.

Also, if you grow trees, chop them down, make paper, and put the paper in landfills where it doesn't rot very well, you are taking CO2 out of the atmosphere... (of course, if you burn fossil fuels to make and transport the paper this advantage probably goes away)

Lifetime: months? (5, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099771)

From the article:
Further, "the life of our organic electronics displays has been already prolonged from ?hours to months," [Bas van Rens, general manager at Polymer Vision] added.

I'm trying to figure this one out... is he saying that this cool roll-up display, with four shades of grey and readable as paper, will self destruct after a few months?

And they're so hard to produce, that he can only make 5000 a year? Just to have ten engineers running the line at $100k/yr (or one executive at $1m/yr) would make each one cost $500 bucks.

No wonder he's targeting the military. Nobody else can afford to spend $500-$1000 on displays that don't last much longer than a gallon of milk in a wet paper sack. But I can envision plenty of 100% valid military applications -- after all, if you're going to blow up a million-dollar cruise missile, why not give it a thousand-dollar configuration panel?

Ideally, of course, the military money helps get the screen into the production levels required for the consumer market. Extend the lifespan to six months and drop the cost to under $60 bucks, and people will pay $10/month for disposable e-books.

Re:Lifetime: months? (1)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099908)

> Extend the lifespan to six months and drop the cost to under $60 bucks, and people will pay $10/month for disposable e-books.

More's the pity. I suppose Joe and Jenny Idiot have to have their gadgets, but such horrendously disposable items will lead to a lot of unpleasant waste. That might be fair enough for low-volume (eg military) applications but I'd hope the general public would hold out for something a bit less environmentally unpleasant.

Re:Lifetime: months? (1)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100043)

I'd hope the general public would hold out for something a bit less environmentally unpleasant.

The general public doesnt hold out, the general public is fed whatever crap the marketing guys and gals can push down our throats. Just wait until those disposable DVDs (as mentioned on slashdot) that only play 2-3 times hit the market.

Dont even get me started on AOL discs.

But lets not forget the biodegradable cd-rs made from corn. Yummy.

Re:Lifetime: months? (2, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100057)

More's the pity. I suppose Joe and Jenny Idiot have to have their gadgets, but such horrendously disposable items will lead to a lot of unpleasant waste.

I agree with you. I'm sure when they talk about "organics-based displays", they're not talking about the good kind [organicgardening.com] of "organic". The term "organic chemistry [wikipedia.org] " simply means that it's based on carbon instead of silicon. Unfortunately, the carbon compounds will be heavily doped with the same sort of toxic metals and other compounds that cause problems when disposing of traditional electronics.

But I do think the market will take off, given the right price point, for the same reason people talk on their disposable cell phones [verizon.com] while driving their modified military vehicles [ariannaonline.com] . (And as soon as you can figure out what that reason is, please let me know!)

Re:Lifetime: months? (1)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100020)

I don't think it's so much a matter of "it's so hard" as it is that everything they've done so far is research, and now they have to shift gears to producing them economically. Every new piece of technology goes through that curve, you just don't usually hear about it (except on Slashdot).

You're right about the amortization of labor. They'll have to produce a lot more for it to be truly economical.

Re:Lifetime: months? (1)

zeux (129034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100080)

RTFA.

They say they are producing only 5000 a year because the tech is not ready and these 5000 are for some companies to make prototypes. We are not talking about large scale production here.

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these (2, Funny)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099772)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

5" 320x240

10" 640x480

20" 1280x1024

5120" 327680x245760 - Almost enough for that 16 megapixel 360' panaramic shot I'm not working on.

This could end up being a MAJOR problem... (5, Interesting)

10101001011 (744876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099799)

I was just thinking of something (I know, scary isn't it). These things will probably be priced reasonably in a short period of time and as Phillips likely hopes will one day replace a good chunck of print media.

What about disposal? It is likely that if they are priced reasonably enough they may become just as disposable as newspaper (all right, not quite so bad) but even if only one in ten people disposed of these things after they became damaged (look how we treat our newspapers and tell me these things won't be piling up in the dump) how are we supposed to get rid of them? They likely contain a fair amount of material that is not decomposable within a reasonable amount of time. We already know that computers are adding quite a bulge to the normal waste, how would seveal million sheets of this stuff hold up (quite well I'm guessing, probably 100,000 - 500,000 years!)

This is of course only my perspective but it does give reason to pause.

Re:This could end up being a MAJOR problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099934)

Yeah well that's nothing compared to the basalt and gabbro running up and down under our town. That stuff's NEVER going away. Just wait until I get my hands on the idiot who spilled it everywhere!

How about a deposit system? (1)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099990)

If the companies that make these things really want to win in the public relations field, and they're concerned about the issue you've raised, they could implement some sort of deposit system. You pay a deposit on top of the price of the display that will only be refunded if at the end of its useful life, you return it to the company and get that amount back. Phillips (in this case) could then re-use the components that are salvagable and thus cut down on the amount of waste.

I know I'm dreaming here, but recycling and reusing have to become part of the electronics world, not just paper and plastic! Good post.

PDA Wrist Gauntlet (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099842)

This display tech would make a great wrist-wrapping PDA gauntlet. Rather than have to hand-hold the PDA/cellphone/MP3/video player beastie, an arm-conforming design would enable handsfree display. The only decision is whether to wear the display on the top of the forearm (risking damage to the display) or wearing it on the inside of the forearm (which seems a little less comfortable).

cool but useless (1)

mickyD (745546) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099844)

Something about rolling up your monitor is cool but I can't think of much more useless technology. Only the government could be interested in something so useless. Plus I've read enough scifi to know holographic displays are where its at

eBooks (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099846)

One of the big gripes about eBooks is that they don't quite keep up with the convenience of curling up on a couch next to a fireplace (and all you folks with hot weather, think of something to curl up next to) with a regular paper-book. With a foldable display, I am sure it would make things easier. Now, only if they can add the voice activated page flipping, that would be awesome!

Moving Pictures (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099850)

If you read Harry Potter books, you know that pictures in magic world can move. I'd really like to see something like this in real newspapers using these "electronic paper" displays. Imagine the Sports section :-)

Re:Moving Pictures (1)

pyropaul (571423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099996)

Or, even better, the nano-technology book in Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age". Now that will be cool when it eventually becomes available.

2cm bend radius != "roll up into pen" (3, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099859)

A 2cm bend radius means that rolled up, this display will form a tube 4cm wide. This is NOT "roll-up into a pen", this is more "roll up into a scrollcase".

To put in another way: this is a 5 inch diagonal display - say 3x4 inches - that rolls up into a 2 inch wide tube. <sarcasm>Yes, that is a HUGE improvement.</sarcasm>

WHEN they get this to have a 1mm bending radius I'll get really excited. Until then this isn't all that great, although I suppose a 2 inch diameter by 3 inch long tube diameter tube full of battery and electronics, with a pull-out display might be somewhat useful.

Re:2cm bend radius != "roll up into pen" (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099959)

A 2cm bend radius means that rolled up, this display will form a tube 4cm wide. This is NOT "roll-up into a pen"

...unless you've got a really big pen.

Re:2cm bend radius != "roll up into pen" (1, Funny)

Wun Hung Lo (702718) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100045)

Then you can have someone say "Is that a flexible computer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

Re:2cm bend radius != "roll up into pen" (1)

iamthemoog (410374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100068)

...a pull-out display might be somewhat useful.

That'd be pretty cool... just roll out as much as you need. A couple of inches for an email or two, and a full page for web browsing or whatever. Just use a locking clip as on a tape measure to hold it in place.

Finally what I needed. (2, Interesting)

InfoVore (98438) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099861)

I've wanted to build a custom portable computer into a staff/walking stick for a while. This would be perfect for the display. A 2 inch curve is about right to wrap around the top of a staff, particularly if it is widened to about a 5 inch circumference at the top.

crossword puzzles (1, Funny)

foxhound01 (661872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099879)

how are you supposed to do the crossword puzzle in the Times? with a dry erase pen or something?

old-school! (1)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099880)

finally! bendable e-book screens would be a hit, and it'll be old-school just like paper! Next thing you know it, people will be choosing old-school curved CRTs over flat-screen CRTs!

Oh great... (2, Funny)

Steamhead (714353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099883)

The next version of "AdIN" advertising....

For those who don't know, those ads in the bathrooms at your local universities...

Earth Final Conflict: Phone (2, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099897)

I don't why, but I kind of imagine the phone [jjambproductions.com] from Earth Final Conflict in my head when I read this. Take a little G3 technology, built in cameras and these roll up screens and I think we have everything we need to build a working version.

Display specs.... (4, Informative)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099912)

Interesting to note what's current and what's in production...

Dimensions: display + pixels + aperture
Display size: 71 mm x 96 mm (diameter 119 mm).
Number of pixels: 240 x 320.
Optical aperture: 79%.
Driving: refresh rate, voltages, power consumption, volume electronics
Optimum refresh rate: 50 Hz.
Operating voltages: column voltage range: -15V, +15V; row voltage range: -25V, +25V; common electrode voltage range: 0, +5 V.

Power consumption: maximum power consumption of the display: 52 mW. Typical power consumption (10% duty cycle) of the display: 1 mW.
Contrast, reflectance, switching time, bi-stable, grey levels, colour
Contrast: 9:1.
White reflectance: 25%
Switching time: 800 ms.
Bi-stable
Number of grey levels: current: 2; in product: 4.
Colour: current 1; in future product: 1
Flexibility, thickness
Display thickness: current: 350 m; product: 100 m.
Display flexibility: current bending radius: 20 mm;
future product bending radius: 10 mm.
Stick facts: (user interface, bluetooth)
Component area of the addressing electronics: 48 cm2.
Height of the addressing electronics: 2 mm.
Typical size of a 0.5 Wh rechargeable Li-ion battery (10% duty cycle, 1 hour use per day): 1,3 cm3.
Battery life under the same conditions: approximately 1 month.
Bluetooth interface

Version 1.0.... (2, Interesting)

JollyFinn (267972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099976)

Firstly they are making it enough volumes to attract others to build applications that need it, but not enough to generate any real money...But have plans for mass manufacturing plant with 12 to 24 month period from now, but they are seeking funding to build it, which means they have to show SOMETHING, with future potential. They are doing active research, meanwhile which means that they can make it bigger, last longer ,cheaper, and have better resolution, they just don't know yet which of those are going to improve and how much in the period before mass production. The first generation product is probably usably mainly as prototype design and perhaps some rare cases, where cost is not such a problem...

Flexi's (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099980)

First thought I had was "Flexi's" the PDA like devices that is used in the Andromeda series

Marauder's Map (1)

giminy (94188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099993)

military uses (maps anyone?)

Am I not the only person that immediately thought of the Marauder's Map [about.com] ?

Re:Marauder's Map (1)

giminy (94188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100016)

Am I not the only person that immediately thought of the Marauder's Map?

Kind of adds new meaning to that famous quote:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. clarke

Black & white (0)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100047)

The possibilities for pr0n-related use are endless. Imagine, stand inside a giant one curled into a ring and just tell Mom to ignore any strange comments she hears about Natalie Portman for the next two hours.

Looks like the fujitsu product (4, Informative)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100051)

Fujitsu have come out [irdial.com] with a similar looking flexible display product.

It looks like we are going to get very light, very energy efficient displays, rsn. These might not be used in a flat form, but would be very useful in making hard cased laptops even lighter...or clipboard devices...its just amazing.

Universal Display, Cambridge Technology & SID (2, Informative)

PeterCook (673216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100087)

Three other sources on this topic - worth looking at - UDC has a video of an early working green monochrome display: Universal Display Corporation (NJ) www.universaldisplay.com Cambridge Display Technology (UK) www.cdtltd.co.uk Society for Information Display www.sid.org
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