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Nanotech Based Display

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the awesome-resolution dept.

Displays 217

yodha writes "Ntera showed their NanoChromics Display (NCD) recently. The display uses a nanotechnology process to create a more paper-like image than traditional LCD screen. It delivers significant power savings (they've shoehorned one into an iPod to give people a sense of what it looks like). The image can even remain on the screen for weeks without any power and doesn't need a backlight."

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So when do we get it? (-1)

dadjaka (827325) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697051)

Great, so now we have brilliant nanotech displays. When can I get one? (And how much will I be up for?)

Re:So when do we get it? (2, Informative)

PMJ2kx (828679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697095)

From ExtremeTech: "Still, Ntera claims that first production glass will be shipping at the end of the year, and intimated that a medical device manufacturer would be first out of the gate"

Considering the eBook prototype had an "issue", those won't be too far behind...but delayed, nonetheless.

Re:So when do we get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697104)

From Endgadget: The first batch will be shipping by the end of the year, but it'll likely be a while longer before they start showing up in consumer products.

Re:So when do we get it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697138)

fuck you, jerk

Re:So when do we get it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697150)

no, fuck you, dick

Re:So when do we get it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697165)

jerk my dick, you fuck :)

pr0n (4, Funny)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697053)

So much for turning the screen off when you're looking at... home movies and your parents/friend/girlfriend walks in ;)

Not that this is in any way related to anything... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697292)

But when I was driving to work this morning, the license plateholder of the car in front of me said, "My other ride is yer mother." Which would normally be ammusing enough, but as I pulled up along side to pass I couldn't help notice that the driver was a smoking hot girl. I was left feeling a somewhat aroused, very confused, and now a little ashamed.

Samurai Porn? [samuraiwar.org] Yes. Yes there is.

Re:pr0n (2, Funny)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697304)

I'd imagine that there would be a clear screen button. If not, you at least could have a hotkey on your kb to switch to a picture of a puppy or something.

Re:pr0n (5, Funny)

illerd (579494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697353)

I'd imagine your girlfriend would be more upset to find you jerking off to puppies, rather than women.

Re:pr0n (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697357)

This is true.

No wonder I was able to view the site! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697055)

It hasn't been /. yet. First post!

mmmm... NanoChromics Porn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697056)

see subject

more vaporware? (3, Insightful)

7Ghent (115876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697060)

So many e-paper technologies...so much vaporware.

I can see lots of applications (2, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697337)

First off, something I always thought would be cool is to have a digital picture frame. But the ones that I see a lot today just plain suck. Too thick and monitor-ish. If these looked like paper, it would be ez to make a digital pic frame out of it, and it would look good. Shoot, the things are cheap and sturdy, you could send grandma one in the mail, and not have to worry about losing the image.

A cool device that I would like to see, if this is thin enough, is an ebook device that actually looks like a book with pages, but each of the pages is a sheet of this stuff that contains a different piece of literature, and you could have like a USB hookup where the binding of hte book would normally be for syncing with a computer.

I don't know how thin this stuff is, but it would rock to have a lightweight monitor that you could hang on your wall. I know, LCD's already do that, but this stuff seems way cooler.

A device that you could draw on, and it would look good! And have good battery life! Like a digital drawing board or artists pad.

Cheaper, longer lasting battery life PDA's!

Ditto for cell phones!

And probably a whole bunch of other things!

Ipod paper (3, Funny)

A Swing Dancing Dork (324614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697063)

the question is how much paprer would that ipod cost me?

Stickers anyone (3, Funny)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697065)

Wonder if it will work better with cell phone battery extender stickers attached to the back of the screen. (I kid)

pr0n (3, Funny)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697068)

so, i can have p0rn on my screen 24 hours a day?

could be a great marketing method:
-
tired of wasting electricity on porn?
have trouble fiddling around with all those dirty magazines?

then switch to NCD today!!!
-

Re:pr0n (2, Funny)

Agent_9191 (812909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697124)

yes, but it's only one image. Semi-permanently on there... "What hunny? No, I wasn't looking at anything like that recently. Why do you ask? *mutter* stupid monitor..."

iPod looks impressive but.. (3, Interesting)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697072)

I'm guessing they've got a very long way to go before it'll be in a 24" widescreen display. The impressive thing is the contrast level... something like this could make e-books a practical option.

Re:iPod looks impressive but.. (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697091)

That's okay, I'll take it in a 5x7" ebook reader too.

Re:iPod looks impressive but.. (2, Informative)

Intocabile (532593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697092)

If you look farther there is an ebook prototype with a respectibly sized screen.

Not quite the market (5, Interesting)

WinterpegCanuck (731998) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697198)

Like they said in the article, it takes more power to render the image initially than LCD, so I don't think full motion movies/games/general screen is what they are aiming at. The strength in this product is the image lasting and having the readability of paper. I may just speak for myself, but I hate reading for great lengths from the screen, usually sending things to the laser to read from the page. The eBook they show in the last link is where the power of this guy is realized.

I agree though, it looks like they are having difficulties with the larger screen, as the Ipod screen held the image fine, but the author stated he had to keep refreshing the ebook.

Re:iPod looks impressive but.. (1)

Cracell (788266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697287)

ya I can see this replacing my mp3 player/ cheap device with cheapo lcd screen thrown on but i don't think this will work so well for laptops, pda's, ebooks, etc. maybe ebooks, maybe, digital clock with it might be cool, but we got a lot of cool crap with that and the whole full viewing area is cool, but we basically have that, if they actually are cheaper, then looks good for some things, but not very much

Re:iPod looks impressive but.. (1)

darkov (261309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697295)

The contrast is impressive but can anyone tell me what the refresh rate is? I can't find it anywhere... makes me suspicous.

Re:iPod looks impressive but.. (2, Informative)

klmth (451037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697311)

And you're absolutely right to be. The article states that the rendering of an image is slower than on an LCD screen.

Sounds good. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697076)

But the question remains, can I wipe my ass with it?

Re:Sounds good. (1)

WinterpegCanuck (731998) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697208)

In a pinch (pun intended), most anything can be used as toilet paper, just make sure to remove the batteries. Just ask the sunscreen guy.

Re:Sounds good. (1)

TripleP (525879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697330)

But the question remains, can I wipe my ass with it?

Sure you can, it all comes down to how much you want to pay for toilet paper.

The Irish! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697087)

Hey look, the Irish made something other than a drink or car bomb! Way to go!

Re:The Irish! (0, Offtopic)

martinoforum (841942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697108)

Whatdayamean? We're not restricted to CAR bombs you know. Also, your artificial separation of drinks and bombs is misleading - many Irish drinks can serve both purposes, either as explosives or as chemical warfare agents, depending on whether you're talking about Guinness or not...

Re:The Irish! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697146)

offtopic.

I know most American gov. beer is shunned around here, but what about Guinness? Should I be considered a n00b for liking it (somewhat)? Are there higher levels of beer elitism?

Re:The Irish! (2, Funny)

martinoforum (841942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697157)

Guiness is great, I was just being sarcastic. It's kind of like the beer equivilent of Starbucks - half beverage, half ashtray. Oh, there I go again... Go on, mod me offtopic :)

Re:The Irish! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697178)

:)

Re:The Irish! (1)

fcolari (699389) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697399)

It's kind of like the beer equivilent of Starbucks - half beverage, half ashtray. Brilliant!

Refresh Rate anyone? (1)

Dragon Rojo (843344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697088)

For office purposes it won't matter very much. But what about fast action gaming?

Re:Refresh Rate anyone? (4, Informative)

stoborrobots (577882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697107)

on this page it claims "fast switching"
http://www.ntera.com/products/segmentedDisplays.as p [ntera.com]
Exactly what that means I'm not sure ...

But if someone wants to sign up for the datasheet downloads, then they can tell us for sure....
http://www.ntera.com/home/register.asp [ntera.com]

Re:Refresh Rate anyone? (2, Informative)

stoborrobots (577882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697173)

scratch that.... I downloaded all the general information plus the one available datasheet (for the evaluation board, others "Download not available yet") - no details. The best I got was from the brochure:
Fast switching speeds
Past attempts to use electrochromic effects in display applications suffered from both weak colouration and long switching times. With NCD technology, the electrochromic viologen molecules are bound to the surface of the nanostructured cathode, meaning they can be switched very rapidly from colourless to coloured and vice versa.

Very Nice (4, Insightful)

Omkar (618823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697097)

I like the increased contrast. But can anyone elaborate on "nanotachnology processes"? That's like saying any common appliance uses "electromagnetic processes".

RTFA, and still nothing (1)

Omkar (618823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697122)

Yes yes, but what does "nanostructured" mean?

Re:RTFA, and still nothing (4, Informative)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697277)

it means that the cathode has small bumps on it that are less than 10nm wide. those bumps are what the dye (vilogen) sticks to to give it colour when it is in the "coloured state".

If you tried to make the bumps any larger, the colours would look all washed out, because you'd see more bump than dye.

Re:Very Nice (1)

WinterpegCanuck (731998) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697219)

Right now, some marketing department has lost a bet that no-one would question the solar flare deflecting magnetosphereic equalizer bridging technology used to increase sales.

But seriously, a howstuffworks article would be nice. Or even a condesending posting on slashdot ;-)

Ob Buffy: The Vampire Slayer ref (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697266)

"Its a meat process."

Re:Very Nice (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697269)

It's just marketing fluff. Integrated circuits have been measured in nanometers for quite some time now, it's nothing special really. Just because the most basic unit of your product is nanometers in size, doesn't mean it's some special kind of technology.

To me, nanotechnology means buildings things atom by atom. Not very many people have actually done that. I don't think it's fair to use the term nanotechnology for some chemical processes that produces these nanoscale structures. That's just to easy.

Oh, no! (0, Troll)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697101)

Look out! Here comes God claiming he owns the patent on paper! So much for THAT invention.

Excerpt Copied Verbatum (1)

wyldeone (785673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697110)

From this post at engadget: http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000680031783/ [engadget.com]

MOD PARENT DOWN: OH GOD IT'S HORRIBLE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697260)

Goatse link please don't click!

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN: OH GOD IT'S HORRIBLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697339)

Yeah, that iPod certainly looks like Goatse

Re:Excerpt Copied Verbatum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697360)

Gee, maybe one of their shills, like you, submitted it?

They need to keep their "stories" getting posted to bring in those ad revenues.

Nanomites Amuck (3, Funny)

teknomage1 (854522) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697113)

So at what point does the thing malfunction and eat your house?

An awesome feature... (4, Interesting)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697118)

...would be having this on Tablet PCs.

I didn't see any mention of this, but considering that they say 'it has the consistency of paper' and the extremely high resolution, if it were touch sensitive, it would replace paper/pencil in a way that PDAs couldn't. I couldn't doodle that well on a palm, but with nanotech resolution and a thin enough stylus, notes on a tablet PC would become a reality.

Just my thoughts on this.

consistency of paper (2, Informative)

subtropolis (748348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697280)

Maybe i missed it but i didn't read that 'it has the consistency of paper'. Notice the layers marked "glass" in the illustration. They did mention that it gave "the visual effect of ink on paper ".

Take away the glass and i assume your stylus will create the same effect as writing on wet tissue, sure.

Power Consumption? (4, Insightful)

rincebrain (776480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697119)

TFA claims that initially, it will draw more power than an LCD to paint the display, but the image will remain without additional repaints, saving energy.

Now, I'd like to think I'm not an idiot...but how will that save energy on displays which, for instance, require frequent repaints? Let's say that I'm running my iPod with one of those screens, as they show in the article. The thing has to draw segments of the bar frequently, update the time remaining once per second, draw the entire "Now playing:" row to create the "scroll" effect for long titles, redraw the top if you have a clock running up there, et cetera, et cetera.

Another example would be a touch-sensitive screen. In a drawing tablet, I'd imagine the repaint levels are not going to be particularly low, especially for full-tablet images...

I suppose my question becomes...is it actually less power-hungry than traditional LCDs for its practical uses?

Re:Power Consumption? (2, Interesting)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697154)

it would probably use an intelligent redraw...the entire image wouldn't need to be refreshed, just parts of it. if there were some type of buffer where the data for one screen was held then they could just check to see if that pixel needed to be updated, if so they could update it...if not then they could save power.
An LCD on the other hand has constant power requirements, even if the image is static.

Re:Power Consumption? (3, Interesting)

sahonen (680948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697163)

I have no idea how the device works, but I would think you just repaint only the pixels that change from frame to frame. For example, your seconds counter going from 8 to 9 would only really have to change the bottom half of the character. Plus you only need to update when there's a change, instead of constantly refreshing at 30hz or whatever. Even for a scrolling title bar, you're still not having to refresh the entire screen.

What I'm wondering about is internal illumination. Does it rely completely on external illumination, or can you fit a backlight into it so you can read in the dark?

Re:Power Consumption? (1)

kulpinator (629554) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697169)

The article was vague, but I'm guessing that since you'd only have to update the parts of the display that changed, you wouldn't be consuming much energy at all in most cases. Naturally, full-motion video would act differently from a scribble, unless you're a very very good scribbler.

Re:Power Consumption? (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697197)

If this display doesn't require a backlight, then it's a major win over today's LCD technology.

-jcr

Re:Power Consumption? (2, Insightful)

binarybum (468664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697203)

I'm guessing this is nowhere near ready for video rate stuff - in which case you're probably right - during normal operation it would probably use more power, but I'm guessing most of the power modern monitors consume is with the screen just sitting there idle while the user reads something on the page or is away eating lunch.

However, for something like an e-book or a clock display the necessary refresh rate/percentage is relatively low - making this system optimal. Also, not having a backlight should save quite a bit of power too (however, I suppose at times a front light will be needed).

Re:Power Consumption? (2, Interesting)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697210)

but how will that save energy on displays which, for instance, require frequent repaints?

Apparently it draws "more" power to change the state of the molecules - due to having to move around charge. Otherwise, the base layer acts as a capacitor, with the stored charge maintaining the on/off state. So you end up spending power mostly on the pixels that change between lit and unlit. Even with full-screen repaints not all pixels switch (think scrolling a page: lots of pixels just stay white between successive repaints) thus you can still get lower power consumption. Of course, for color displays this will probably be less efficient.

Re:Power Consumption? (4, Insightful)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697232)

On the assumption that most displays actually have a very small number of pixels that change with any frequency. As an example, look at an 8 element digital clock, every second the unit's second changes, every 10 seconds the tens seconds changes, every minute the minute changes, and so on. from any 30th of a second to another, the vast majority of the time, nothing has changed, so nothing needs to be refreshed, or changed.

Likewise with a spectrum analyzer view on an mp3 player. It's rather rare for the area between the bars in the analyzer to change. It's also rare that the frame, labels under the bars, scale lines, etc. change.

In an LCD system, all of those pixels need to be refreshed every refresh cycle. In this system once the pixel is set, no energy is used to keep that pixel set at that level.

Looking at my screen right now, easily 95% or more of the screen is not changing from one second to the next. Yet the entire screen is using energy to refresh itself many times a second (50-70 Hz I believe for this screen)

The place where such an interface would be expected to use significantly more energy would be in a Television type interface. Including video games on a PC which you may or may not consider related.

I don't really get your example of a touch-sensitive screen. The areas that would draw energy to be repainted are those where the stylus or mouse pointer are located. Unless you are using some interface that draws lines all over the screen when you move the stylus from one pixel to another close to it, the only pixels that should be affected are those relevant to the brush or tool in question. For a Select this usually means a couple of lines of pixels vertically, and horizontally change. Applying effects, afrects a large portion of the screen, possibly even the entire screen, but it is usually a one shot event.

Even the notorious blink tag in html documents should only cause energy to be expended with the frequency of the blink.

Let's say that it takes 60 times as much energy for a pixel change on one of these screens than on an LCD (equivalent area example, if you get 9 'nano'-pixels in the same space as an lcd pixel, each nano-pixel using ~7 times as much energy as the lcd pixel, you get what 63 times as much energy used for that same area, close enoug to 60 for this example.) If over 90% of the screen is not changing from one refresh cycle to the next, then in 60 refresh cycles after the initial screen was set, you have approximate parity. That's one to two seconds. Obviously savings go up from there.

But that's just some off the cuff calculating and thoughts. I am sure someone out there, perhaps someone who thinks that 1/20th of a dollar is not the same as 5% of a dollar will elucidate my errors.

-Rusty

Re:Power Consumption? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697325)

But that's just some off the cuff calculating and thoughts. I am sure someone out there, perhaps someone who thinks that 1/20th of a dollar is not the same as 5% of a dollar will elucidate my errors.

Actually, my friend, 1/20th of a dollar is a nickel.

Respectfully yours,
The Elucidator

Re:Power Consumption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697383)

Mod parent up!! Oh wait, don't.

Finally, the perfect thing for e-books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697255)

So it's not for video. Oh well.

Paper-like contrast and no power consumption for a static image!

Nifty.. (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697125)

The iPod looks pretty awesome. The digital clock, however, is pretty uneven. Easy to read but part of the 8 is very faded.

Can't wait until this sort of technology becomes more widespread. Less power consumption for small devices is always good.

Re:Nifty.. (1)

Wallslide (544078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697193)

My guess is that the 8 was about to change to a different number ( Or maybe from a different number to an 8 ) when they took that pic.

Re:Nifty.. (2, Interesting)

Cracell (788266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697300)

reminds me, what ever happened to those paper thin screens? I want one of them things, if they ever actually come out, less I read some problem with temperature or something

I can't wait to get one... (1)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697126)

once they are in color...and can better 60 fps...but the technology looks awesome right now... I'm glad that there are finally some more solid advancements in this digital paper idea.
It's funny everyone always talked about creating digital paper, so people could read the news like they do on a regular newspaper, but by the time it comes around no one will read the paper anymore...I bet that I have a weeks worth of newspapers on my door step right now...getting the news that way is too damn slow...

Re:I can't wait to get one... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697332)

Im waiting until they can cook eggs, then they will be worth my $$!!

Re:I can't wait to get one... (1)

GoRK (10018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697336)

If you subscribe to the newspaper but you let them pile up on your doorstep and never read them, then why do you bother subscribing? That is wasteful. Do you at least recycle them?

fragility? (4, Interesting)

zerkon (838861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697131)

a few questions come to mind, obviously the technology is fairly new, but is the physical screen stronger than that of a typical LCD? relative to current LCDs how much would it cost? Will it be sluggish at cold temps like LCDs? I'd love to have one of these on my tablet PC currently pretending to be my car radio, with the cold weather the screen reacts quite slow sometimes.

Re:fragility? (1)

CPgrower (644022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697367)

I wonder too how susceptable the display is to pixel damage when a pixel retains it's color state for some arbitrary amount of time (two months, perhaps)?

there are a bunch of those... (4, Insightful)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697136)

This isn't the only one. There are a bunch of those kinds of display technologies in the pipeline: basically, LCD displays, but with small scall structures that increase contrast, viewing angle, and persistence.

It's a good short term solution because switching manufacturing over to those kinds of technologies should be fairly easy.

The disadvantage is that those are still heavy glass sandwidches, with all the problems that brings with it. eInk, OLED, and other new display technologies give far more flexible and lightweight displays, and promise significant weight savings.

Manditory remark.... (0)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697149)

"My monitor has been assimilated by nanites"

Pffffft. big deal... (4, Funny)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697151)

The image can even remain on the screen for weeks without any power and doesn't need a backlight."

I figured out how to do that 30 years ago to my folks TV with my PONG console...

Re:Pffffft. big deal... (4, Funny)

Jodka (520060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697293)

"The image can even remain on the screen for weeks without any power and doesn't need a backlight."

Warning: Do not browse porn before a power outage.

nano nano (2, Insightful)

hhawk (26580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697153)

There are lots of things these days that operate at or involve nano-meter technology, but what specifically about this produce uses Nanotech?

For me, Nanotech is enginering with Atoms; purposely building tiny machine on the Nanometer scale that do things like filter specific atoms to produce "pure" materials, act as a computer or build a rocket engine in a vat of liquid.

Re:nano nano (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697202)

Nano is a big hooplaa around. If you ask a semiconductor engineer or a traditional chemist, they had been practicing nanotechnology for ages. Chemists have for centuries played around with molecules. Semiconductor industry has for long time employed materials which were only few nanometers thick.

So what is the big buzz around?

Re:nano nano (1, Insightful)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697278)

The big 'buzz' around nanotech is the original intent of actually manipulating individual atoms, and using esentially atom-by-atom assembly build robots that worked at this level and could replicate themselves.

That is what got the thought of 'nanotech' into the buzzword realm.

This is not that. Nor is chemestry. Nor is the semi-conductor industry. Or for that matter pretty much any product on the market that uses the nano modifier.

Effectively everything that is on the market that includes something with a nano modifier is materials science where the materials in question happen to be working in the low nanometer range.

This is not to take away from the fact that much of this nano level materials science is actually some pretty impressive stuff. It's just stuff that is using 'nano' as a marketing term to attract attention, rather than nano as an idea of the scale upon which a device or tool is functioning.

Then again, that's just my opinion. Drexler is the person who should be reffered to for better information.

-Rusty

e-ink anyone? (4, Informative)

esteric (859523) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697155)

This kind of technology seems promising for the future of ebooks...
Let us all hope they do not screw up with this technology like Sony/Philips did with E Ink [eink.com] and their Librie [www.sony.jp] ebook reader.

Diamond Age... (3, Funny)

sparkhead (589134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697159)

So when can I pick up my "Young Lady's Illustrated Primer"?

Finally!! (1)

OccidentalSlashy (809265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697183)

This is going to be wonderful and I can't wait until I can finally fulfill an old dream of mine: to sit in sunlight and use my laptop.

And luckily I'm a Mac user, so I'll get it as soon as it's ready! *happily pokes the Trolls*

But will need a front light (3, Interesting)

jackstack (618328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697184)

"Doesn't need a backlight because it's reflective"? - doesn't that mean it needs some light to reflect? I thought it must be emissive to be truly backlight free like oleds.

Re:But will need a front light (1)

jimi the hippie (725322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697254)

or any other LED for that matter....

Re:But will need a front light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697418)

Prehaps that's because it's like paper?

Less eye strain! (2, Insightful)

gilkyboy (746418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697205)

Mmmm, less power= less light shining in my eyes. Sounds like I might not need to increase the strength of my contacts after all!

This is not nanotech (1, Insightful)

jhsewell (620291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697214)

Puhlease. This isn't nanotechnology. Until you have created a nanoassemblier, a self-replicating nanobot, or a gray goo apocalypse you aren't actually using "nanotechnology". You're making something made of very small pieces. Congrats, but it isn't nanotech.

Start by reading "Engines of Creation" and get back to me when you're not a marketing droid trying to hop on the nanotech bandwagon.

Re:This is not nanotech (4, Informative)

sahonen (680948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697281)

Not according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . Nanoassemblers are just the science fictionalized popular image of nanotechnology, actual nanotechnology is a much broader field.

Hope this one actually works out! (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697217)

We've been hearing about electronic paper for years now hopefully this is actually the one that works. The technology does seem quite promising, and that they seem to be near shipping even more so but I have some concerns about the durability.

In particular my understanding of how the material works is by depositing an electrochromatic material (i.e. a material which undergoes a chemical reaction changing its coloring or transparancy when an electric current is applied) on a very bumpy surface. This is apparently how they solved the problems of weak coloration they mention on their product page.

One way you might think of this (but don't trust me I just rely on my basic physics and math background) is that previously these electrochemicals used a clear plastic sheet with color changing molecules deposited on it. This meant light only passed through one layer of the color changing molecules. The company instead figured out how to crumple up the plastic sheet on top of itself so the light would have to pass through multiple layers of the color changing molecules attached to the sheet.

This seems great and all and it may work perfectly and ship easily. However, even taking on faith that it is easy to make I am somewhat concerned that this 'crumpled sheet' could lose its shape.

Probably I am just being silly and someone with more chemical expertise will tell me why this can't happen.

Hmm, seems to be a confusion... (1)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697222)

... on the intent of this product. If the (VERY brief) article is correct, it sounds like it's not the kind of screen you'd use to (ahem, posts above =) ) watch pr0n. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like they're trying to do some kind of electronic book thing or something?

If that's the case, give me a break. There's more important things to do with our time. Pardon me for jumping the gun... but if this is the best that Nanotechnology has to offer us, I'm dissapointed. Half of us here at Slashdot don't even know how to read, for God's sake! What good is this going to do? ;)

Re:Hmm, seems to be a confusion... (2, Interesting)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697328)

There are two issues that cause me to print out a to-do list, purchase paper books, and so on. The first is the resolution of the display. Books are generally printed at a resolution between 600 and 1200 dpi. The best my laptop or pda can get is about 100 dpi.

The second is usability life. Laptops range from 2 to 4 hours of usable time while reading a text document. Then you have to re-charge it. A book generally never needs to be recharge. It's feasable to take a book and sit on the beach for 8 hours, (I might burn rather sevearly, but that's me) I would not recomend trying that with a laptop. Additionally in this scenario, cleaning the sand out of the book is going to take a lot less effort than doing the same for your laptop.

If the resolution tripples (or more) in each direction, and over the long term takes less energy to display, then we are begining to get to where I would be much happier using such a device than I am carrying around a book. (A novel appropriate fot taking on a vacation can be rather large.

But that's just me. I don't think this is the best that Nanotechnology has in our future. I do think it's one of the better uses for Nano Materials Sciences that have come down the pipeline so far.

-Rusty

To be honest (0, Redundant)

sc0ob5 (836562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697249)

I always prefered vi.

Etch-a-Sketch (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697251)

Imagine an Etch-a-Sketch for the new millennium! Finally! (And with a touch-screen, it could be a Lite Brite, too!)

gotta love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11697279)

i love the fact their http://www.ntera.com/products/default.asp [ntera.com] products page is written in all caps.

nothing screams WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING!!!!! like all caps.....

From the article (2, Funny)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697284)

NCD technology uses electrodes made of nanostructured films of semiconducting metal oxides with a self assembled monolayer of electrochromic viologen molecules to overcome these issues.

Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense!

epaper (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697329)

This screams ePaper to me.. like those things they told us 8 years ago that we'd have by now to read the daily newspaper...

I really do love the excellent contrast.. I think I have a lot of trouble reading things on computer screens for extended periods because of it, but that display looks absolutely delcious to my eyes.

E-Ink (2, Interesting)

everklear (553968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697344)

E-Ink anyone?

E-Ink Website [eink.com]

It seems to me these guys are already doing this. Perhaps this is competition?

Odd review (4, Insightful)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697354)

What a strange review -- first they give us a nice photo comparing the new screen in an iPod to the standard LCD... but the standard iPod example is turned off. There's nothing on the screen we can compare with.

Okay, maybe they're really keen on the new tech and are trying to skew things its way.

But no, further down they discuss the eBook reader example. "This ebook looked great, and really shows off the power of the digital paper. Alas, I had to keep pressing the contrast button to refresh the image. Perhaps the technology is not as far along as the company suggested."

Huh? Anything you can achieve by pressing a button is easily achievable through software, isn't it? This is just a minor flaw in the implementation of this particular prototype... and says nothing useful about the actual screen.

Anyway, I'm sure more thoughtful reviews will be coming along soon -- this looks like pretty solid and exciting tech to me. It may not be suitable for many screens (i.e., it takes *more* power than a standard LCD if the pixels are all changing frequently... so you wouldn't watch a movie on it), but it'd be perfect for putting little status monitor screens on all kinds of things, plus for the applications they prototyped.

Re:Odd review (3, Informative)

modifried (605582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697417)

"What a strange review -- first they give us a nice photo comparing the new screen in an iPod to the standard LCD... but the standard iPod example is turned off. There's nothing on the screen we can compare with."

If I'm not mistaken, I think that was partially the point. The iPod with the NCD was off too. Right below the photo in question is written, "The image remains on the display even after power is removed, and does not require a backlight."

The image can even remain on the screen for weeks (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11697413)

Does this mean we will have a cool new way to do one of those pictures for your wall that you change with your computer? I have been interested in them but they seem to be a waste of power.
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