The simple black and white e-ink display inside your Kindle lets you read book after book on a single charge, but when it comes to devices displaying multimedia content like your smartphone, a monochrome display just doesn't cut it. You want colour, and lots of it, so Japan Display has created a new type of full colour LCD display that promises fantastic battery by emulating many of the tricks that e-ink displays employ.
First off, the display features a newly developed scattering layer making it highly reflective and visible without the need for a backlight which usually accounts for about 80 percent of an LCD display's power consumption. And secondly, like an e-ink display, the unique Memory-In-Pixel—or MIP—structure of these new LCDs allow them to display a static image indefinitely without the need for additional power. So only the portions of the display that are changing—like say the time on a smartwatch's face—need to be updated.
The technology sounds similar to Qualcomm's Mirasol display technology, which was a bit on the expensive side and never really caught on. But since these new displays are based on existing and relatively cheap LCD technology, they should have a better chance at being adopted. In fact, the new displays have already gone into mass production, so it's not like this is a technological breakthrough that consumers will only be privy too in a decade. Devices such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, or even colour ebook readers employing this new display technology should be popping up sometime this year. [Japan Display via Fareastgizmos]