Apple Experimenting With an E-Ink/LCD Hybrid Display?

It seems like it may be “Apple patents exposed” week. Another recent Apple patent has been discovered that would be an additional step towards improving the iPhone’s design with unique, evolutionary features in time for the next iteration. The patent outlines a concept for the ability to switch between e-Paper and a conventional LCD as the display. The concept even goes deeper than that, detailing a system for independent control of each quarter of the display.

iOS would be able to analyze content to determine which display to use. Typically this would simply involve areas with only text to utilize the e-Paper and areas without it to stick with the LCD display.

It is believed that e-Paper technology (which uses “E-Ink,” a phrase you have probably heard more than e-Paper) is superior to a LCD display for text and static black-and-white images due to its high contrast and readability in sunlight. Popular reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle feature an E-Ink display, and many users have preferred the “ink-on-paper” look for reading. A LCD display has countless advantages though, including an ability to display a couple dozen million more colors, much faster response time, and it practically works for non-static content.

Is an E-Ink/LCD display hybrid the future of reading devices? I would have to answer that with a “maybe for a short while if it comes to fruition.” While E-Ink looks more natural, especially for those accustomed to reading paper, it lacks the pop a screen provides. The iPhone 4 already includes a Retina Display that makes text look really sharp and is a major improvement from displays with a low pixel density. Plus keep in mind that the display could have an inconsistent look if both are utilized simultaneously.┬áThere is not much room for text to look better in my opinion. I think that Apple should focus on increasing the contrast of the Retina Display further instead.

[via Patently Apple]

Written by Michael DeLisi