Plastic Logic shows off bendy 'leccy posters: Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
It's great tech, surely there's a niche for it somewhere
Still searching for an application for its innovative printed-on-plastic screen technology, Plastic Logic has teamed up with TOPPAN to showcase a 42-inch screen built for posters and displays.
Forty-two inches (just over a metre) might not be the biggest of screens, but the prototype being shown off at RetailTECH Japan is 3mm thick, readable in full sunlight, and only consumes power when being updated. Essentially, it's more of an electronic poster than a video screen and thus should be a better fit for Plastic Logic's technology - which has been struggling to find an application for years.
It is, of course, several smaller displays stuck together, and still not in colour
Plastic Logic sprung from Silicon Fen (or "Cambridge" as it used to be known) over a decade ago with a technique for printing transistors onto a flexible plastic substrate. The obvious application was flexible screens, utilising e-ink technology, and the company initially raised money on the back of bendy screens, then on the grounds they were more robust (plastic screens bend, not break) and finally by weight (glass is heavy).
Sadly none of those pitches was very compelling and just over a year ago the company was bailed out with $700m in Russian cash which it has been spending to tool up a production run of unremarkable e-readers to Russian schools while it tries to push itself into any other market it can find.
Last month we were back to bendy screens again, then screens on credit cards and now billboards, all of which smacks of a company with a really cool solution desperately looking for a problem that only it can solve. ®
I would like to know how much one of these would cost before dismissing it out of hand. Per device per cm2 just some sort of pricing would help evaluate it.
A few case use idea's
Roll up ebook reader (obviously)
Depending on flexibly update-able promotional flags
Price dependant, update-able restaurant menus, think nice expensive leather bound menus with five sheets inside that can be updated, workings kept in the cover, the plastic display replaces those plastic wallets used to swap out printed A4 sheets of paper.
Roll Up Plan viewer either A1 or A2 would be good. with some kind of calibration so we can scale from plans (if drawn to be able to do so)
Same for music
Something like this for exhibitions http://www.hampshireflag.co.uk/Roller-Banners.htm roll up banners
All niche markets but all took 5 mins to think of. Most have probably been thought of already. You really don't need to keep chasing the big idea.
A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies...
We only have 6 years to have electronic bill-boards on the sides of blimps. This is moving in the right direction.
When lasers were invented people used them as posh "rulers". Communications? Nah.
Certainly if the price is right then this *IS* cool technology that deserves a market. I thought by now I'd have an A4 (or legal size) roll up eReader that fits 211 mm x 12 mm x 80 mm form factor. A bit smaller than my old Slide Rule in its plastic case.
It's a pity people want video and colour on phones and colour inherently needs a back light or it can be no better than 1/3rd brightness of B&W ePaper.