Editor’s Note: With Gangzhou OED drawing a lot of attention for its announcement of graphene-based epaper, I thought my readers would be interested in a similar report on PlasticLogic’s graphene epaper demo. This story was originally published in September 2014, and the tech is not on the market yet.
Here’s an interesting new screen tech which has an excellent chance of never reaching the market.
The Graphene Center at Cambridge University, in partnership with PlasticLogic, has just revealed the first graphene-based flexible grayscale display. According to the press release:
Graphene is a two-dimensional material made up of sheets of carbon atoms. It is among the strongest, most lightweight and flexible materials known, and has the potential to revolutionise industries from healthcare to electronics.
The new display prototype was built on a flexible plastic backplane which PL originally developed for use in ebook readers. The tech is quite similar to the Mobius screen tech which E-ink debuted last year, except in the case of the prototype it has yet to leave the lab.
In its ideal state, graphene consists of nothing but carbon, giving it a shade of black which is unmatched by existing epaper screens on the market, including screens produced by the market leader E-ink.
If this tech makes it out of the lab and into production, it could offer a screen which is much blacker than existing E-ink screens. But as you can see in the following video, this is still an early prototype and still has a ways to go before it is as fast as existing epaper screens:
As cool as this is, it’s still coming to the screen tech market late in the game. It’s competing against an established tech which might not be as good, but already has the bugs worked out. This could well preclude a startup working on a graphene display from getting enough funding to finish development, thus keeping the tech off the market – at least until E-ink buys the tech and incorporates it into their products (I am not predicting it, but I would not be surprised if that happened).