Are reflective colour screens on sight?Saturday, July 24th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco
eBook readers are experiencing a growing success. The debate is on to get a Kindle like device having a black and white reflective screen you can easily use on the sundeck or to get an iPad like device sporting great colours through a back illuminated LCD that looks great in the shadow but becomes useless in the sun. Clearly the solution to appease everyone is to have a colour reflective screen! There are, as a matter of fact several prototypes but the result is not as good as one would wish. The problem is that the colour dots on a reflective screens are only as good as the light reflected is. You get good colours but you have to sit on the sundeck, no shadow please.
That’s not convenient. Now, researchers from HP have created a new material that promise to meet the challenge. This material comes in different flavour; one is able to convert blue and green light into red, another converts blue light into green. Each pixel (made with this material) is covered by a fast switching liquid crystal shutter letting in or blocking out the light. Mirrors placed below each pixel let the light escape when no reflection is desired.
As it can be grasped by this sketchy representation of the structure of the screen the mechanism is quite complex and that means, today, low resolution and high production cost. But everyone remembers how costly was that flat screen television that is now living in our kitchen! So let’s wait and see. The fact that researchers are still looking into alternative ways to develop screens is showing that we have not reached the point where everything is done….