Thin Is In, and Flat's Where It's At
Weblog Ed Gottsman - April 1, 2004
Last September, Philips Laboratories announced the development of an electronic ink with a refresh rate high enough that it can play full-motion video. Even better: It's full color, four times brighter than a liquid-crystal display, and a modest consumer of power.
Electronic ink technology is already available from E-Ink (Inc.), but it's both monochrome and slow. At a minimum, Philips Labs' new technology heralds the arrival of flat PC screens that you can roll up and put in a pocket—that's obvious, and not very interesting. The really important applications come from wallpaper, clothing, rugs, furniture and other products that can be covered with the ink.
Imagine the explosion of creativity as people decorate their personal surfaces in a riot of animated patterns, creating and trading panoplies of digital couture and virtual home furnishings! What a renaissance! The last comparable event was the arrival of the laser printer. And if the early days of personal desktop publishing are anything to go by (remember clip-art-itis?), we're in for a period when things get really, really ugly. <
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May 14th2004. 4:02pm IST BC LIB