By Charlie Dulin of Dulin's Books
Bridgestone was showing off their Quick Response Liquid Powder Display, QR-LPD, at SID Display Week. It’s very similar tech to SiPix epaper in that it uses an embossed grid structure to form the pixels and then the “ink” material fills the grid. There is a reason whythe tech is similar, and that's because they've shared some key employees. Bridgestone’s display differs in what they use to fill those pixels. They use electrically charged powder particles that “flow” like a liquid when current is applied to the display.
Bridgestone’s QR-LPD color technology has developed to the point that they are beginning production “very soon”, most likely in this quarter. Their partner, Delta Electronics, just demoed a digital reader at Computex and it should be out by the end of the year.
Early versions of the reader were on display. The prototypes and the eventual consumer device boast a 13.1-inch display capable of producing 4096 colors and weighing in at only 660 grams. It will run on Linux 2.6 include WiFi, Bluetooth, SD slot, USB 2.0, USB 1.1 host and have pen/digitizer input.
No price was announced or specific date but expect to see it in December. Color looked good on the prototypes on hand and pen input seemed speedy. Refresh is a bit slower than on a B&W display but it may be faster in a production device.
Also on hand was their shelf label product. Able to reproduce all the information you might need on a grocery store shelf and allowing for frequent updates while maintaining a very low power usage seems to be a winning combination. This product has been in full-scale production for some time and is sold through their partner Pricer. Currently they are in place in over 100 retail shops in Europe and Japan.
P.S. In case you're interested, you can view all of the source images from SID Display week here.