Yesterday I wrote about Pixel Qi, the LCD screen tech that’s making some of CES’ most buzz-worthy gadgets possible. This morning I got a chance to see Pixel Qi’s new LCD screen in person. As you can see below, the screen can switch seamlessly from grayscale e-reader mode to dynamic color mode in an instant. Say you’re a taxi driver trying to use a GPS device on a sunny afternoon: with the Pixel Qi screen, you flip a switch and the display goes to readable reflective mode. But want to go into full-on backlit office mode or watch a movie in HD? No problem. Flip the switch again, and it’s back to transflective lighting.
Pixel Qi isn’t the only company demoing innovative display technology at CES this year. There’s also Qualcomm’s Mirasol screen, which, like the Kindle is reflective-only, but can display color as well as support video. Using the already-proven technology of LCD gives Pixel Qi a slight edge, at least for now. Their screens are already starting to appear in consumer devices, such as Notion Ink’s new tablet PC, while Qualcomm’s display is still in the prototype stages. Still, the Mirasol technology is quite impressive, and it seems destined to appear in e-readers and other portable devices sooner rather than later.