This is very cool, Ann. I'm a bit surprised to see this coming out of Russia. I've been viewing Russia as a bit behind, but maybe not. It looks like we're not too far away from wearable screens that can change patterns and colors with a click.
E-ink technology is wonderful. The Kindle is light, has long battery life and can be read in bright sunlight. One limitation, though, is that E-Ink does not do motion. Is that the case with these devices? While they seem to have lots of great attributes, without motion display, they will not replace more conventional displays. They might be great for reading digitized books, but education technology is moving toward the use of video extensively.
I was pleasantly surprised to see it come out of Russia too. Since it's being used in schools, the cost must be low. Any info on that? Any companies or governments in other countries using this in the same way? Kids are great beta testers.
Actually, the company is based in Germany, although it has a center of some kind in Russia, presumably to support the Russian schools testing. Nadine, no financial data was available. To date, this is the only large contract I'm aware of that the company has revealed, at least for the color version.
You're right about kids being great beta testers, NadineJ, especially with tablets. I'm sure you're heard the stories of pre-verbal kids mastering tablet functions. I've seen that close up. It's quite amazing. This flexible screen seems perfect for kids.
Have you seen this technology anywhere else, Ann. I saw the large placemat-style screen Microsoft developed a few years back. That has some flexibility to it, but nothing like the screen you show in the article.
Flexible displays, at least the idea, have been around for ages, but they're usually smaller and not good enough for e-readers. For example, the Flexible Display Center's 7.4 in diagonal display http://flexdisplay.asu.edu/node/195 Samsung and Nokia say they are working on them: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/30/samsung-to-offer-flexible-displays-in-2012-challenges-nokia-to/
If the idea has been around for ages, Ann, it could be there is not a great demand for the feature. I guess someone company will have to demonstrate the need. Tablets were around for ages before Apple showed they could be cool.
Rob, I think it's less a question of demand than of technology and manufacturing/materials issues. Getting multiple technologies to work together, finding/developing the right combinations of materials, and making this all manufacturable at high volumes is not easy. Tablets took a long time for similar reasons, not only because they didn't have Apple as a champion. So did fancy cell phone features. Miniaturizing cameras didn't happen overnight: that took lots of work on the image sensors and enough time for multiple semiconductor generations/shrinks to occur.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.