Engadget posted a video today of Plastic Logic’s prototype flexible color ereader. The screen, which boasts over 1 million transistors and has over 4,000 hues, can maintain its flexibility and its image integrity at the same time.
This development was possible in part due to the success of Plastic Logic’s basic ereader, the Plastic Logic 100, that made its way into Russian classrooms to deliver digital textbooks to the academic setting. The shaved model, which doesn’t have wi-fi and relies on cable to transfer texts to the device, was funded partly through a large investment from Rusnano; the success of that transaction and resulting device set the stage for the new flexible screen device.
“The color is provided by a filter laying on top of the grayscale screen. The screen underneath the filter has a resolution of 150 ppi, and that gets cut in half because you need 3 pixels to do red, green, and blue. There’s also a 4th pixel which is left alone (it shows the white/black of the underlying screen. The RGBW are arranged in a 2 by 2 grid in the layer on top of the Plastic Logic screen…This is a flexible screen, and so is the filter laying on top. Plastic Logic had to design the filter so it flexes at the same rate as the screen so it wouldn’t get bent out of shape. That is an interesting trick.”
In theory, this would achievement would improve the e-reader display while possibly reducing the cost, once it’s available for mass production of course; neither the price nor the launch date for mass market hasn’t been released yet. However, the scaled down device that Plastic Logic made available in Russian classrooms was still upwards of $400 per unit, so don’t count on a huge savings just yet.