Feeds

Mystery Sony big-screen ereader to sport E Ink bender

Liable to be pliable, folks

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

E Ink reckons its "Mobius" flexible epaper screen will be the first of its kind to go into mass production, an event the company claims will take place some time later this year.

The Mobius will make its debut as a 13.3-inch panel built into a unnamed “digital paper product” made by Sony, which co-developed the panel with E Ink. The Taiwanese screen company is handling the manufacturing.

The new panel is essentially an E Ink display built out of a thin-film transistor backplane - the bit that controls the state of the display pixels - of the kind that's used in LCD screens but here based on a flexible plastic substrate rather than a sheet of glass.

E Ink’s pixel technology is also used in Plastic Logic’s flexible display technology, sitting on top of a Plastic Logic bendy plastic TFT sheet in much the same way it sits on Sony’s pliable TFT backplane.

Plastic Logic says it can produce screens of up to 15.4 inches in size, but has yet to put one into mass-production. The technology has made its way into a fair few prototypes, though.

LG_19in_ebook

Mobius predecessor: LG’s erstwhile 19-inch epaper prototype

And, to be fair, Sony’s mysterious digital paper product is just at the prototype stage too. The Japanese giant will be showing it off later this week at the Tokyo’s Educational IT Solutions Expo. E Ink will be demonstrating Mobius at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week 2013 show later this month.

The big question is, is Sony using Mobius to create a genuinely different and interesting product - a bendy one, essentially, that’s a real alternative to paper - or simply use the technology to make a rigid device, such as its current ebook reader, lighter and thinner?

El Reg's hardware desk suspects the latter. It’s relatively easy to make a flexible e-ink display, and there have been many prototypes over the past five years, from the likes of HP, Philips and LG, as well as E Ink and Plastic Logic. It's a darn sight harder, however, to make the battery and other key electronic components thin enough to keep the whole thing bendy but also light enough to be picked up and carried like a sheet of thin cardboard. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.