Update: We added a nice video of Sony' prototype device below
E Ink and Sony have co-developed a new plastic-based flexible E Ink display called Mobius. The Mobius panel uses Sony's flexible TFT technology, and will be produced by E Ink. Mass production of 13.3" 1200x1600 panels will begin in 2013. Those 13.3" panels will weigh only 60 grams - less than 50% of the weight of glass based panels, and will be much more rugged as there's no glass.
Sony unveiled a prototype tablet that uses those displays - aimed for the educational market. The A4 sized tablet (13.3") features a touchdisplay with stylus input, 4GB of memory (with microSD) and Wi-Fi. The whole device is just 6.8 mm thick and weighs just 385 grams. Sony hopes to start trials in three Japanese Universities later in 2013 and will hopefully launch it during the company's 2013 fiscal year (i.e. by March 2014).
The Earl is a rugged tablet aimed for outdoor use. It has a rugged case and a flexible 6" 1024x768 LG Display-made flexible E Ink panel with infrared touch. Other features include a built-in solar panel, Android, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and AM/FM Radio. The device is powered by a low-power 1 Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash memory (and a microSD slot).
The Earl will hopefully be funded in crowd-funding campaign (using their own system, not kickstarter or something like that) - like several E Ink products lately. They aim to raise $250,000 and currently they have over $60,000 with 30 days to go. The price seems very low for the specifications, this one will be interesting to watch.
Researchers from Canada's Queen's University's Human Media Lab developed a new morphing smartphone concept that can change its shapes to give notifications without any noise. The concept uses a flexible e-paper display made by PlasticLogic. This is just an early prototype, and the researchers estimate that it will take 5-10 years to commercialize such technology.
Earlier in 2013 the same research group unveiled the PaperTab - a flexible paper-like tablet, based on Plastic Logic's 10.7" flexible touch E Ink displays and Intel's Core i5 processors.
ICAP Patent Brokerage is going to auction an IP package of high-definition, full-color e-paper innovations from the Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Yonsei University.
ICAP says that the IP package features a flexible electrophoretic display capable of displaying multi-color, high-definition images. The IP portfolio covers a grayscale representation unit with various charged particles for displaying grayscale by using light reflection and transmission. The color in the display is presented by using colored particles in an electrode placed above the grayscale unit. These colored particles are made of metallic nano-particles and formed in a specific pattern on the upper electrode for presenting a high-definition, multi-color colored display. Manufacturing of the colored particles or layers may include slurry process, screen printing, ink-jet, or nano-printing that may have high industrial applicability and is cost effective.
Plastic Logic developed a new OTFT-based flexible 42" e-paper (E Ink) display that they will show for the first time at RetailTech Japan together with Toppan printing. The two companies will jointly work to bring these displays to the market and find applications for them.
Plastic Logic's new display is actually made from 16 10.7" flexible panels tiled together (4X4 as can be seen from the photo above). The whole display is less than 3 mm thick and is very light, and so can be hung on a wall like a poster.
Plastic Logic and SERELC developed together a new low-power outdoor digital signage solution based on Plastic Logic's flexible plastic displays. Each ZED (Zero Energy Display) unit consists of two 10.7" monochrome flexible plastic displays.
Plastic Logic says that the two displays have been "seamlessly tiled together", although the photo they released shows otherwise. In any case, the final display acts like a single 15.4" diagonal (150 dpi) panel that weighs just 115 grams and is less than 1 cm in thickness.
Intel, Plastic Logic and Canada's Queen's University have collaborated to create a flexible paper-like tablet, based on Plastic Logic's 10.7" flexible touch E Ink displays and Intel's Core i5 processors. A user can use several PaperTabs devices at the same time, and these can interact between them, as can be seen in the video below:
Roel Vertegaal, a director in Queen's University's human media lab estimates that most computers will look and feel like that - within five to ten years. It's likely that the displays will be full-color ones, probably based on OLED technology.