Bridgestone, better known for its tyres, has developed a colour e-paper display technology and evidently it’s pretty impressive, even at this early stage in its development.
The company is initially aiming it at more mundane applications such as price tags in supermarkets and other distribution and logistics applications. But it expects its technology, called QR-LPD, to find a place in e-reading devices for books, magazines and newspapers.
The display has a touch sensitive screen and is flexible. As with the better-known (but still black and white) e-Ink system used on the Kindle and Sony readers, the Bridgestone screen has a long battery life since power is only used to change page images, not to retain them. In common with all of these displays, though, its screen refresh is currently slow — up to 15 seconds for the Bridgestone device. Probably not a problem with supermarket price tags but a definite impediment with ebook readers. The company claims that much faster systems are already in the works.
One advantage the Bridgestone display might have over the recently released FLEPia colour ebook reader from Fujitsu is price. Bridgestone has developed a “roll to roll” manufacturing process for its e-paper that is similar to the way newspapers are printed on web printing presses. In its case, rolls of plastic are imprinted with the electronic ink. The cost-effectiveness will be further aided if Bridgestone can boost its volumes by targeting industrial applications rather than relying on the still-small ebook reader market.
More on this story from epapercentral. And here’s a video clip of the device.