Bookeen and SunPartner co-develop a solar-powered e-reader

Bookeen and solar innovator SunPartner are developing an e-reader with a built-in solar panel. SunPartner's technology (called Wysips - What You See is Photovoltaic Surface) enables a transparent solar panel to be embedded in the display. This means that the device will charge when light is present - even while reading and you do not have to turn it over.

Most mobile devices use too much power to be actually solar charged, but with an e-reader this may work very well. Bookeen aims to release the solar-powered e-reader in 2016.

Ynvisible to develop paper-thin, low-power boards and modules in a new Arduino-based platform

Portugal-based Ynvisible is developing flexible transparent electrochromic displays and the company is already producing some displays in low volume. The company now launched a kickstarter project called Printoo that aims to develop an Arduino-based platform of paper-thin, low-power boards and modules. The company already reached their financing goal of $20,000 and there's still 25 days to go.

The Printoo platform includes 17 modules, including a microprocessor, a printed battery, Ynvisible's flexible, transparent display and a flexible solar cell. This is pretty cool stuff and it'll be great to see how the company delivers on their promise.

Researchers show an E Ink display that harvests its power from NFC

Researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Massachusetts and Intel Labs developed an E Ink display that is powered wirelessly using NFC. They used an NFC tag that includes a wireless power harvester microchip and 1mAh battery (to capture and store the energy). The E Ink display is 2.7" in size.

A single NFC transfer can be used to get 0.5Mb of data - or about 20 pages, and it gives energy enough to view all of those pages - several times over.

Qualcomm unveils a 5.1" 2560x1440 (557 PPI) Mirasol display

Last year Qualcomm announced that it is no longer planning to mass produce Mirasol displays, but will attempt to license the technology for other companies. But it seems that Qualcomm is still developing the technology. During SID 2013 the company unveiled their latest panel, a 5.1" display with a resolution of 2560x1440 (yes, that is 577 PPI!). They are also showing a smaller, 1.5" panel with the same pixel density (600x600 resolution).

Mirasol displays offer a rather washed-out image (the color reproduction cannot match LCD or OLED displays) but the power consumption is about a sixth compared to LCDs.

ZED: Plastic Logic and SERELEC's new flexible E Ink digital signage solution

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.

AUO developed a flexible solar powered 6" e-paper display

AUO is showing a new prototype that integrates a flexible e-paper display with a flexible PV and battery. They call this an "unplugged flexible e-paper display". The display is 6" in size and offers 800x600 resolution, and is based on organic TFTs.

Flexible solar Sipix prototype

The PV battery is based on amorphous silicon and weights just 10 grams. With 1.5AM (air mass) solar light, it generates 1W or more of electricity (it offers conversion efficiency of about 3.6% or higher).

Hitachi and Pixtronix announce a new MEMS display, to start production late 2011

Hitachi Displays is showing a new MEMS display prototype (2.5", 320x240), using Pixtronics' technology. They say that the power consumption is about half of a regular LCD, and it has 3 modes: transparent, reflectance (monochrome only) and semi-transmissive (a combination of the transparent mode and the reflectance mode, which is also monochrome only). The displays will be released towards the end of 2011 (or early 2011) in 10" or smaller sizes (for mobile devices). 

Pixtronixs's technology is based around a MEMS shutter, backlight LED unit and a TFT driver element. Color is done via opening and shutting the MEMS shutter at a high speed and changing the amounts of the light from the LED backlight unit and natural light.

E Ink unveils their next-gen display, the Pearl - monochrome e-paper with enhanced contrast ratio

E Ink has announced their next-gen display technology called Pearl, to be released in July 2010. This new display has about 50% improved contrast ratio compared to the current Vizplex displays. The Pearl has 16 levels of gray, improved power consumption (and of course they do not require power when images are not changed).

The Pearl is the display used in Amazon's new Graphite Kindle DX, which will ship on July 2010, and cost $379.

PixelQi unveiles new 10" wide-view panels, says they are 30% more power efficient than previous ones

Pixel Qi is introducing new 10" touch-capable wideview display panels, which are 30% more power efficient than their previous models. These ones are aimed towards tablets. The company is demonstrating this on a number of tablets and netbooks.

Engadget says that the pen and finger input is very responsive in both LCD modes, and they were similarly impressed with the wideview screen on the netbooks. PixelQi's CEO Mary Lou Jepsen says that they are currently working with major manufacturers to bring these displays to the market.