Rumors are circulating on the web that the new iPad will be available in April in the USA and it will be, among other things, thinner. But still pretty thick, if you compare it to a sheet of paper.
According to an article on the Journal of the Society for Information Display, however, by 2030 we will indeed have plenty of screens as thin and as foldable as paper with the same kind of resolution, color and brilliance of a magazine page and the same capability to display a movie as one of today’s screen.
They go as far as photoshopping a photo to show one of these futuristic paper screen used as you take a bath, to emphasize that it will also be waterproof (unfortunately the photoshopper missed the fact that he placed a dressed up lady in the bath tub, which seems unrealistic, even twenty years from now!).
By the middle of this years we should see the first color eInk eBook reader, but don’t get too excited. The color will be dim, like faded away, nothing to compare with an LCD screen. Besides, the refresh time will still be long, so long as not to allow the display of video clip.
To get a better color screen we might need to wait for a few more years but at that time we will probably be used to have high resolution screen (retina type) on the LCD tablet. Still, the eInk technology will remain unbeatable in terns of reading on the beach (where the screen cooperate with the Sun rather than competing with it -and losing- as it is the case for LCD) and in terms of power consumption. THey will therefore keep their market share.
They will also be the the device of choice for classrooms where the paper like quality, robustness and low pawer consumption may be real winner (once the color and refresh time will no longer be an issue).
In the medium term, two to three years, we may also see eInk technology make a way in the area of labels in department stores. Such labels would allow the store manager to change price in real time to match the average consumer at that particular time of the day. Something that is already being trialled in some supermarkets in France and Germany,