Qualcomm's Upcoming e-Reader Will Mimic Butterfly Wings for Energy-Sipping Color Displays (Video)


Photo via Slashgear

One of the primary aspects of e-Reader devices that are driving competition against one another is the display, with manufacturers looking at how energy efficient, how easy on the eyes, how readable in daylight, and how colorful they can make it. Qualcomm is now putting out an e-reader that uses Mirasol technology - something we've mentioned only in passing when discussing biomimicry. But this technology which uses butterfly wings for inspiration for creating ultra low energy, ultra bright color displays will play a prominent role in the new e-reader, which might just give the Kindle and Nook a run for their money. By mimicking how a butterfly's wings shimmer, or how a peacock's tail is so iridescent, engineers at Qualcomm came up with mirasol technology. As Qualcomm notes, "Qualcomm's mirasol display technology is based on a reflective technology called IMOD (Interferometric MODulation), with MEMS structures at its core. This MEMS-based innovation is both bistable, meaning it is both extremely low power, and highly reflective, meaning the display itself can be seen even in direct sunlight." Here's a video explaining more and giving a rundown of how it is used in the e-reader.

The battery sipping capabilities of the device (the form factor details of which haven't been divulged yet..what you see in the photo above is only a mock up of one design being considered) will exceed that of even the Kindle, which touts a long battery life, thanks to the mirasol technology. Slashdot notes, "As the mirasol team explained... once you start pushing traditional e-ink panel refresh rates, up to the point you can display smooth video, and introduce color, power draw can actual go beyond that of a regular LCD display. A color e-ink video-capable Kindle would last roughly a day using the same battery; meanwhile the same unit with a mirasol panel would last around a week."

Expected to ship by the end of 2010, the new e-readers may just become the hottest devices on the market, thanks to their beautiful displays that don't sap battery power. And meanwhile, mirasol technology can be used for any electronic with a display. We're seeing this going into mobile phones and all types of handhelds in order to reduce battery consumption. Here's a video explaining how the technology benefits our devices by reducing energy use.

Via Slashgear
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Tags: Biomimicry | Concepts & Prototypes | Electronics | Gadgets

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