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Reversible LCD: Two-Sided Electronic Paper

Mitsubishi has a prototype reversible LCD panel; a two-sided liquid crystal display that can show different images on each side.

An example of how this can be used in the near future? A cellular flip-phone could make use of a reversible LCD to create a thinner phone (see images below).

Reversible LCD Side One Reversible LCD Side Two

How does it work?

"The prototype of the reversible LCD panel module displays different images on each side. The images for its surface and rear are displayed on one LCD panel alternately, and the back light is turned on and off according to which side of the panel displays the images. The frame rate of the panel is 60 frames per second for each side of the panel, or 120 frames in total."
(see source here)
This is the first step to having a runcible, an "electronic book" that really is a book with multiple pages (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson). The "pages" are LCD displays; the spine of the book contains the electronics. Select the book you want, and the content is spread out among the pages, just like in a regular book.

You get the best of both worlds: all of the great usability of books and none of those problems of having a big library to tediously walk through to find what you wanted. And say goodbye to primitive scrolling - scrolls were abandoned more than a millenium ago for excellent reasons!

Although Mitsubishi's prototype is not bendable, we already have flexible one-sided displays - see Philips Rollable Display.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/3/2004)

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