Print 13 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on Jan 19 at 1:41 AM

Image courtesy of Toshiba
Dictionaries, books, and news articles now in pocket size editions

Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd. has announced the mass production of its 5-inch monochrome, highly reflective, thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD).  This high resolution, 16-level grayscale display is designed for monochrome applications found in displays on office automation equipment and electronic dictionaries.

The demand for electronic dictionaries is on a rapid rise with the consumer desire for quick information access.  In Japan, the sales of electronic dictionaries reached 2.5 million units in 2005 and there has been a high demand for units that are capable of displaying images.

The new TFT LCD has completely eliminated the need for a backlight due to the highly reflective surface and optical performance.  This absence of the backlight allows the device to consume less energy, therefore increasing battery life.  The new line of TFT LCDs offers faster display image rewrite so the text or video clips are more clearly legible while scrolling.

The device will include a 5.01-inch display, VGA 640x480 resolution, monochrome reflective display, 20 ms response time, and power consumption of 4 mW in binary representation and 20 mW in 16-gray scale representation.  No information has been released yet of its launch date, but mass manufacturing is well underway.

The question left is when TMDT will manufacture the product in paper thin sizes.  With research on flexible electronics underway, the next step is to transfer this technology to electronic dictionaries and eBook readers.

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By h0kiez on 1/18/2007 8:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see a huge demand for these in the States. China, maybe, but I don't see that many people whipping out pocket dictionaries very often.

RE: Why?
By geoffreymac on 1/18/2007 9:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
Windows SideShow anyone ?. Sounds perfect for that . .

RE: Why?
By h0kiez on 1/18/2007 9:36:29 AM , Rating: 3
In monochrome with no backlight?

RE: Why?
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/18/2007 1:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Like a calculator LCD. Simple, cheap, uses no power. Ever heard of KISS? (not the band)

RE: Why?
By Sahrin on 1/18/2007 1:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sideshow is designed to be a multimedia display. Monochrome LCD's don't strike me as particularly likely in that application.

RE: Why?
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/18/2007 9:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
If they are cheap enough, you'll see them everywhere. I went shopping for a new clothes washer and dryer recently. All the high end machines had LCD displays.
I'm sure the refrigerator and stove cant be too far behind.

Or how about those annoying advertising placards on grocery store carts... why not replace a static, boring sign, with a live action commercial?

If the price is right, there will be an unlimited use for these screens. (unfortunately)

RE: Why?
By Hydrofirex on 1/18/2007 1:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
And we wonder why all of our kids have ADD! Yeah, let's add full motion video advertising to EVERY surface we can cover!


RE: Why?
By BladeVenom on 1/18/2007 10:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
Almost no one here cares how they spell, so I agree there's not much of a market for them here.

RE: Why?
By isaacmacdonald on 1/18/2007 10:15:47 AM , Rating: 2
Sure. That or most people here aren't busy composing letters or messages by hand--I know I don't.

I don't really see how this could be popular inside the developed world, what with inline spell checking and online dictionaries/thesauruses. As for appliances, meh. What do they use this for? It's not that difficult to operate or read the dials on a washing machine.

RE: Why?
By Mudvillager on 1/18/2007 11:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
Replacing paper/books?

RE: Why?
By Flunk on 1/18/2007 1:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
The reason electronic dictionaries are so popular in Japan is that the written language is very complicated. There are over 5000 characters in use so if you happen to find one you don't know you have to look it up. The faster the better.

By afkrotch on 1/19/2007 1:41:48 AM , Rating: 2
Some ppl just don't have any creativity. I can see these appearing in elevators, handheld barcode readers (think UPS/FedEX), cash registers, and tons of other electronic devices.

One used as a digital clock, one on your fridge, alternative E-paper, remote controls, word processor, and so on.

If they are cheap enough, I can see modders throwing them into their cases just to display CPU/Memory utilization, Temps, and fan speeds.

There might not be a market for electronic dictionary/translators, but there is a market for monochrome LCDs.

You guys really need to think
By Nightskyre on 1/18/2007 1:34:44 PM , Rating: 1
There are a lot of applications for these. Someone listed a washer/dryer, that's a good example. Here are some more:

Ovens - Timer, thermometer, setting (bake/broil/etc)

Digital books - eBooks are still out there.

Museum handhelds - These things are a lot cheaper than paying for guides for tours.

Car Consoles - More robust digital displays, perhaps even replacing the gauge layout with a full LCD layout (they're all electronically driven now anyway)

Remote Controls - Ever see one of those remotes that controls everything in your house? From your lights to your sprinklers? Great usage.

Security consoles - You don't need a color display to show you which door isn't secured when you punch in your code for the night.

Any status updates, especially in fast paced environments - driving trains, flying planes, even cash registers could potentially benefit from this.

C'mon people, think! It's not just about the dictionary.

Though, a handy digital English->Spanish->French->German etc would be nice.

Oh, and last but not least.

Digital Etch-A-Sketch.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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