Last week New York City was host to the Greener Gadgets conference, a show focusing on the greening of the consumer electronics industry where panelists and companies present their ideas and products. Mary Lou Jepsen of Pixel Qi and formerly of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) was a keynote speaker at the event.
In her address, Jepsen presented the XO laptop, the rugged and power-efficient laptop developed by OLPC and intended for children of developing nations. One of Jepsen’s specific contributions to the XO was its sunlight-readable screen, a focus she brought to Pixel Qi.
“Pixel Qi is working on getting these screens into cell phones and conventional laptops as well as the power management architecture,” says Jepsen. “By doing that, we’ll be able to create a component that can be more broadly used in a variety of products. The way to drive cost down is to make more of something.”
The sunlight-readable screen of the XO boasts low power and low cost and uses an LED back light that can be turned on and off to conserve power when needed. When the LED back light is off, the screen only uses 100 mW.
Mary Lou Jepsen presents the XO laptop from the One Laptop Per Child organization during the Greener Gadgets conference
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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