Kindle e-reader has been dependent on e-Ink technology for the success of its existence till now. The e-ink enabled display of the Kindles have been revered for their soothing effect on the eye and is one of the prime factors that propelled the Kindle to dizzying heights of success. But then, e-ink technology is not without their shortcoming with one being their inability to play back video files. And it is here that the French company Nemoptic can steal a march over the e-ink technology with its own e-paper technology.
As per the latest e-reader news, Nemoptic has come out with a new technology that supports backlight as well as video playback while also being touch sensitive. The display may still be black and white but it does the job ok. The video playback is smooth and jerk free and the display clear and crisp.
The technology is based on active matrix bistable nematics that brings down refresh rates to just 30 millisecond while also allowing for good quality resolution.A high refresh rate translates to screen getting updated almost instantaneously. Another extremely beneficial aspect of the active matrix bistable technology is that partial refreshing of the screen can be achieved, which means only a portion of the screen can be refreshed with other portions remaining intact.
The touchscreen feature of the technology allows one to input text and draw lines which gets displayed without any time lag, something that can be attributed to the high refresh rates and the ability of the display to refresh a part of the screen.
Technically the technology can be termed as ‘Bistable Nematic (BiNem) Active Matrix e-paper display’ where the term ‘Bistable’ refers to the ability of the display to keep showing an image even with the power switched off. On the other hand, Nematic means making use of nematic LCDs that are cheap while being quite sturdy.
So what we have with the new e-paper technology on offer from Nemoptic is a display that can playback videos, can accept on-screen inputs, have high refresh rates and allows partial refreshing of screen while at the same time being extremely frugal on battery resources.
Nemoptic is at the moment out in search for willing hardware makers for implementing their technology on their gadgets. The technology used by Nemoptic is cheap and therefore low end mobile gadgets could be the first to implement this technology on their models before we come across e-reader or other devices to be built based on this technology. Nemoptic have been known till now as makers of cheap small displays that can be used as a replacement of paper labels. But all of that is set for a change, it seems.
It will be interesting to note that Samsung too had come up with an e-paper display that could switch from e-paper to video modes though nothing much of it is known now. So it remains to be seen what comes of the latest technology that Nemoptic has to offer.