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Beyond the Kindle: Color, Video E-Paper Devices Are Just Around the Corner

The tablet race is getting hotter by the day. NEC is readying a seven- or eight-inch-screen Android tablet for the Japanese market, according to Slashgear, and expects them to eventually sell in the millions—though the initial production run is rumored to begin at around 150,000. (Picture courtesy of Slashgear, via Nikkei.)

NEC Android TabletBut tablets—running Android or not—may quickly be usurped by color, video-playing e-paper devices that consume vastly less power and which can get by with thinner enclosures. Sure, the Kindle can't do much right now, but its successors will.

Proof? E-paper maker Liquavista is showing off a truly amazing video-playing, touch-enabled, and color digital paper that seems poised to blow the lid off of e-book hardware constraints as we know them. Other companies have shown progress too, but nothing is as slick as this.

Other research groups are close, too. According to the May issue of Nature Photonics, e-paper researchers at the University of Cincinnati have figured out how to build e-paper pixels with high contrast and pigment ratios, and that can refresh quickly enough to display video. According to UC, it will "achieve the brilliance of printed media." Read how it works here.

[Via Engadget]