Although the current generation of tablet computers, led by the iPad are highly functional devices, a charger must always be in reach. The Battery life of an iPad is only slightly more than a working day (about 8 hours) but this really spends on what the person is doing.
The Kindle and other eReaders deliver a good reading experience, yet they last battery wise for weeks.
Tablet computers provide rich colours and fast screen update, whereas eInk is black and white with slow screen refresh.
At CES 2010, “the colour eInk” was announced, called Mirasol. This delivers a colour display with long battery life. It also refreshes more quickly, introducing the possibility of video.
By mimicking nature’s processes and structures – a field of study called Biomimicry – Qualcomm engineers developed the nature-inspired mirasol display. Humans view the world by sensing the light reflecting from various surfaces. As a result, a reflected image, from paper for instance, is more appealing and easier to view for the human eye, compared to a backlit image. Qualcomm’s mirasol display technology is based on a reflective technology called IMOD (Interferometric Modulation), with MEMS structures at its core. This MEMS–based innovation is both bi-stable, meaning it is both extremely low power, and highly reflective. It also means that the display can be seen in direct sunlight. (From The Story of Mirasol)
Unlike LCD displays, the brighter the ambient lighting is the better the display can be seen.
Currently only eReaders are using this technology and only in Asian markets. (such as Hanvon). Amazon have been experimenting with the technology since 2010, but there’s no announcements yet.
It seems obvious that this technology is relevant to tablet computing, so expect to see soon. It will deliver an experience with more of the robustness and reliability of paper, which will bring even more mobile workers over to tablet computers.
Mirasol displays: running late, worth the wait? – http://m.cnet.com/Article.rbml?nid=57356736&cid=null&bcid=&bid=-290
Story of Mirasol –