A new colour reader, able to support video and even browsing the web, has recently been unveiled by Dutch experts.
The BBC reported that the technology is based on science that is hundreds of years old, yet helps to make the screen around four times as energy efficient than traditional LCD screens.
This new eReader comes from Dutch firm Liquavista, who are seeking to re-establish themselves within the eBook reader market.
The technology is known as ‘electrowetting’, and is due to become available from the middle of next year. It has recently been worked on by a number of companies and has many uses, from creating auto-focus on camera lenses, to working as the display in mobile phones.
Electrowetting means that electrical charges move coloured oil within each pixel, differing from the current e-Ink technology that most eReaders currently make use of.
The Problem With e-Ink
e-Ink is desirable in reading devices thanks to the fact that it make screens far easier to read than computers, for example. However, there are also a number of drawbacks including the fact that pages can take around two seconds to load, and cannot change images fast enough to have the possibility of playing videos.
Electrowetting helps to change this, with a much faster refresh rate. It also means that eBook readers would be able to display colour – though the major benefit is that this would work without a backlight. Instead, sunshine will help to make the display more vivid. In darker conditions, the backlight would come on automatically.
The Technology of the Future?
Liquavista have claimed that the technology is far more efficient than LCD screens, and it is hoped that this ‘eco friendly’ technology is what will help their screens to reach mainstream popularity. Eventually it is hoped that this can be transferred to computers and laptops, helping batteries to last for days instead of just a few hours. The question is: will people be prepared to pay more for the efficiency?