Flex develops read in the dark LED light film for ereaders

first_imgE-readers have so far fallen into two camps: those with E Ink displays like the Kindle, and those with LCDs like the iPad. Using E Ink brings you long battery life and the ability to read a paper-like screen in direct sunlight. On the other hand an LCD means you can continue reading in low-level lighting conditions. A compromise between the two may have finally arrived that adds battery-friendly lighting to an E Ink display.The development comes from Flex Lighting, a Chicago company that has developed a very thin front-light film for E Ink screens. Using just one or two LEDs, the film layer is laminated to device screens during the manufacturing process. The layer then spreads the LED’s light evenly across the screen, providing “a soft glow for the reader.” When the light is off, it’s completely invisible, so the ability to read under natural sunlight remains unchanged.The component is only 50 microns thick and consumes very little power, thanks to the LEDs, so it creates the potential for a future Kindle that looks the same but integrates a light switch that users could turn on and off at will. All other aspects of the display should remain the same.Interestingly, the company claims that it makes color e-paper displays  “appear more vivid,” which could make a big difference if you are viewing images or reading a graphic novel, for example.Flex Lighting now has prototype devices produced but refuses to show them publicly. Perhaps this is because it is in negotiations to get the lighting solution into a commercial e-reader, and no doubt whoever it is wants the light to be seen first in their device.Read more at The eBook Readerlast_img read more