A few customers/investors have asked me lately why the Kindle is so readable in sunlight, and how this affects the positioning of VEE and DPO.
So, while this is likely more of a review for most, please bear with me…
The Kindle uses a monochrome display technology called e-ink. E-ink displays are aptly-named; like normal ink on paper, e-ink displays reflect light to make the display readable. Commonly-used mobile display technologies like LCDs and OLEDs actually have to create their own light, through either a single backlight (LCD) or individual pixel brightness (OLED). E-ink also doesn’t require battery power to display content on the screen, unlike LCDs and OLEDs.
So does e-ink present a selling opportunity for VEE and DPO? In a word, no. VEE and DPO work to optimize contrast ratio and dynamic range of display content for the viewing environment to provide the best viewability and power savings. Since e-ink is a monochrome display (black on white), contrast ratio and dynamic range are optimum already. Ever wonder why, with all the cool graphics on your smartphone, your phone application is generally a white on black or black on white background? It’s because of sunlight and contrast.
Does e-ink affect our prospects for VEE and DPO? In a word, no. E-ink is found in practical use for monochrome e-readers only. Yes, there are companies promoting their color e-ink displays, but rumors I’ve read (check out http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/05/03/amazon-has-ordered-color-kindle-tablets-expected-before-holidays/) say that the Kindle color won’t use an e-ink display. The Kindle’s biggest e-reader competitor, Amazon’s Nook, has a color version today that already uses an LCD display, not color e-ink. Further, monochrome displays have never used on smartphones, and we aren’t anticipating any in the future. Finally, we have never heard of any OEM/ODM in the smartphone or tablet space express serious interest in color e-ink.
So, hopefully this clears up any lingering questions. More than happy to address any comment or questions.