We caught up with Mary Lou Jepsen, the CEO of Pixel Qi and John Ryan who walked us through some of the new products and screen technology the company has been working on.
The company has been working fervently on the next generation of Pixel Qi technology to provide a low power, high resolution display panels. They also showed us some new devices hitting the market soon that utilizes their screens. One of the main new functions was using Infrared technology called IR Touch, this is the same technology found in the new Kobo Touch.
Lets talk about the new display panel offerings the company has been developing first. The first screen was a seven inch panel that has a resolution of 1024×600 and draws tremendous low power from the battery. While the second screen was 10 inches and had 1280 by 800 pixel resolution. This new 10 inch screen was specific designed to be an Android 3.0 tablets, which is why they went with IR-Touch technology. Both of two new screens will basically save you 80% battery life. These two screens will see full production in the fall of this year, hopefully we’ll see some new tablets using it.
One of the huge benefits of using Pixel Qi technology in screens for Tablets us because of the size real estate. The color is vibrant but they are VERY small compared to LCD based screens. This means the companies technology is 3/4 the size smaller then normal screens and can provide ultra thin tablets in the future. The company showed us their new solar powered tech that would further reduce the size of tablets that utililze both Pixel QI and the Solar powered battery. Most tablets are bigger and bulkier due to factors like screen density and battery. Being able to shave both screen size and battery size will go a long way to creating ultra thin devices.
The company using solar power technology takes its roots from Pixel Qi’s first project, One Laptop per Child. Originally the technology had to be readable in sunlight and have long battery life. Combining these two factors has created low cost ($130) computers for some of the poorest countries on earth. Being able to implement the solar powered technology within the One Laptop Per Child framework would further reduce the costs for the end user. So the display panels the company makes are not just limited to tablets but can be used in low production cost netbooks and laptops.
Pixel Qi has signed on some major new partners which they announced at Computex 2011. We saw the finished product for the largest telecommunications provider in China ZTE. The new device was a 7 inch Google Android product called the ZTE light, it should see the light of day around Fall 2011. Also on the new hardware front we saw another great Google Android tablet that was designed very well.
Finally, don’t forget about one of the major partners of the company that issued a new tablet this year, the Notion Ink Adam. Many customers have been dismayed that the Adam was very reflective and glossy when out in the sun or under direct light. Part of this was due to the dual panel the tablet used and contributed to a lackluster experience. Pixel Qi has developed a new screen type customized for the Adam and should be used in future device manufacturing. While checking out an Adam with the new screen that was on-site we saw a tremendous improvement. Check out our video on the Adam display panel HERE.
Pixel Qi is one of the most innovative companies in the current market climate. The company constantly demonstrates new technology and display panels that would be suited for both e-readers and tablets. I long for the day I could use a tablet thinly veiled as an e-reader and actually have Pixel Qi under the hood in order to enjoy full color when I want, then e-ink quality reading experience.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.