Engadget captured video of Samsung’s electrowetting displays — the product of its acquisition of Liquavista earlier this year — that show how electrowetting displays look more like tablets than traditional e-ink e-readers, which use electrophoretic tech, like Amazon’s Kindle.
Not only are electrowetting e-reader displays easier on the eyes than backlit LCDs, they also don’t consume as much power and offer a refresh rate that’s 70 times faster than e-ink. They can also display video — thinning the line between e-reader and tablet.
There’s no word from Samsung on whether the company intends to manufacture its own electrowetting e-readers or if it will sell the technology to third parties.
What I find most curious about electrowetting displays is how they will impact the next generation of tablets. If this tech was licensed to a company like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, they could be used in e-reader tablet hybrids — not unlike Pixel Qi’s innovative netbook e-reader screens.
Up until now, Amazon has held back from making tablets and ditching the e-ink Kindle because the company wanted to build a single-purpose device for “serious readers.” This is also why Amazon waited to build a color Kindle. But if reports that Amazon is building a series of Android-powered tablets are true, perhaps Amazon could bridge the gap between e-reader and tablet using electrowetting technology, either by maintaining its loyalty to serious readers and single-purpose devices — but with color — or creating a hybrid tablet.
Either way, keep your eyes peeled: Samsung intends on mass producing electrowetting displays by the end of this year.
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