New e-display promises high performance, low power usage

New e-display

According to University of Cincinnati electrical and computer engineer Jason Heikenfeld, there are two types of electronic devices: things such as e-readers, that require little power but have displays with limited performance, and devices such as smartphones and laptops, that display bright, full-color moving video, but that guzzle batteries. After seven years of development, however, Heikenfeld and collaborators from Gamma Dynamics are now presenting a new type of electronic display. They claim that their “zero-power” electrofluidic system combines the energy efficiency of the one type of device, with the high performance of the other.

The main reason that e-readers use so little power is because they utilize reflective, ambient light, just like a newspaper or magazine. Smartphones and their ilk, on the other hand, require an internal backlight, not to mention color filters. The U Cincinnati/Gamma system reportedly allows for bright, color, high-speed images, but does away with the internal light source. Instead, like an e-reader, it uses reflective light. This not only reduces its power requirements, but also lets users see its images in bright sunlight.

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