An e-reader that doesn’t need an external power supply -– at least when used outdoors — and is flexible and tough, has been unveiled in Japan by AU Optronics.
AU Optronics, a Taiwanese company, has been showing off displays, but the concept e-reader seems to have stolen the show at the FPD International trade show in Yokohoma, Japan. It’s six inches across and is made from thin film transistor e-paper that includes a photovoltaic cell.
The company says it has boosted the efficiency of the cell, which produces about 1 watt, and the battery itself weighs in at only 0.3 ounces. The combination of flexibility, lightness and durability means it won’t matter if it gets dropped. (No word on whether it's waterproof).
The only down side of the solar battery is that it won’t work well indoors. There is an external, rechargeable battery for the device that does take up energy from indoor lighting. The company hasn’t said when, or if, it will commercialize the technology. But it offers a glimpse into what the future of e-readers may look like.
Image: AU Optronics