Tech: Roll out screen

I'm sure you've seen this by now and here's my 2 cents.
Rollout screen
This prototype leaves some things to be desired:
  • It's less dots per inch than a computer screen (about 82 dpi)
  • It's black on gray, would have higher contrast if it were black on white.
  • It's still expensive.
  • It would be cooler if when rolled up it showed different information than when rolled out.
However, this really is interesting technology because:
  • It rolls up to be very compact. You could imagine it rolling out a lot more in the future.
  • The technology doesn't require power to keep the display. This means that one AAA battery could work for weeks even if you used it every day (probably).
  • They claim that it works well in daylight.
  • The display has the possibility of being cheap to manufacture in the future.
This is a key technology that is a requirement for the $100.00 laptop computer MIT and Nicholas Negroponte are pursuing. If you look at cell phones today they are quite powerful, the battery lasts a reasonably long time and they are inexpensive. Once this kind of display becomes readily available and less expensive you can imagine a computer laptop that can last a week or more on one charge of the battery. With that a school in the interior of Africa could charge the children's computers using solar power.
My guess is that first we'll see an iPod like surge for an eBook that finally got it right. Then after two years, Negroponte's dream might come true.

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