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Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Philips Unveils "Rollable Display" e-Reader Concept

The Readius concept is the world's first prototype of a portable electronic-document reader that can unroll its display to a scale larger than the device itself.

Philips presents "Readius" as a concept, which means that it does not intend to commercialize it as a product in the market. Instead, the company is demonstrating the fitness of its rollable displays for use in the mobile devices of tomorrow. Readius is a prototype of a connected consumer device for business professionals unwilling to sacrifice readability, mobility, performance, or weight in a pocket-sized e-reader.

The Readius concept illustrates devices featuring a light screen that unrolls from the phone or a tiny case to provide a larger, paper-like display that allows users to read content with ease. For example, a Readius mobile phone would become an even more versatile business tool. According to the Dutch giant, this in turn will drive consumer demand for data-oriented broadband services, anytime, anywhere, increasing operator revenues and opening the way to new application areas.

"Making displays thinner and flexible will have advantages in power and weight. But the only way to add the key advantage of size-allowing larger displays in smaller, pocket-size mobile devices-is by actually making the displays rollable," says Polymer Vision CEO Karl McGoldrick. "The Readius demonstrates this, as well as showing that we have taken this technology a major step further towards product and market."

With four gray levels, the monochrome, 5-inch QVGA (320 pixels x 240 pixels) display provides paper-like viewing comfort with a high contrast ratio for reading-intensive applications, including text, graphics, and electronic maps. Using a bi-stable electrophoretic display effect from E Ink Corp., the display consumes little power and is easy to read, even in bright daylight. Once the user has finished reading, the display can be rolled back into the pocket-size (100 mm x 60 mm x 20 mm) device.

Based on Philips Polymer Vision's PV-QML5 rollable display reference design, the Readius was created in order to demonstrate the viability of the rollable-display concept in mobile applications and to gain customer feedback at the IFA 2005, held in Berlin, Germany, September 2-7.

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