Feeds

Boffin builds better display from... a cuttlefish

Ultra low-power reflective display

The essential guide to IT transformation

Cuttlefish have inspired boffins from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a screen that uses less than one-hundredth the power of an LCD TV.

The mollusc’s ability to change its skin colour extremely quickly prompted Edwin Thomas, an MIT professor, to create a prototype screen that displays images by reflecting light – rather than creating it.

As a result, Thomas’ screen only uses a few volts of electricity. Admittedly, though, the display only measures several square inches but it's just one micron – one millionth of a metre – thick.

It consists of up to 30 alternating layers of polystyrene and poly-2 vinyl – a conductive material that expands between the polystyrene layers when a voltage is applied to it.

Changing its thickness changes the wavelengths of the light it reflects. Non-visible wavelengths, such as ultraviolet, can also be reflected, given the right thickness of material.

But Stephen Foulger, a professor at Clemson University in North America, told website Discovery that such screens have a limited viewing angle and can only be used in a well lit areas.

So you may never see a TV based on this technology, but it has the potential to be used in electronic ink-based gadgets and on billboards. Thomas said he also hopes to build a self-assembly kit for use by children in chemistry classes. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?