Samsung Unveils Carbon Nanotube E-Paper Color Display

Samsung recently demonstrated for the first time a new carbon nanotube color active matrix electrophoretic display (EPD) e-paper display, in an impressive 14.3 inch size. This new technology springs from a partnership between Samsung and Unidym, the company that developed the carbon nanotubes used by the device. The usual benefits of e-paper are touted: readable in bright sunlight, very low power consumption, no need for continual refresh. How this display technology stacks up vs. others I can’t say, nor do I have a real clue how the carbon nanotubes fit in. The reason I’m writing about it is mainly to highlight that we are still in a stage of rapid innovation in this segment of display technology. So don’t get hung up on the small 6″ display of today’s Sony Reader or Kindle, the lack of color, fragile glass frontplate, or the stately and black-flash accompanied refresh. These are within a few short years going to be distant memories, totally transcended by future devices. I’ve had a chance to see some of the enhanced display technology coming in the next year or so, and it’s already going to be light years ahead.
We need pioneers to start this virtuous cycle of CE refinement going, and we need early adopters to buy the Mavica’s and DynaTac’s. But as we consider what ultimate mass-market adoption will look like, we need to look beyond the limitations and quirks of today’s “breakthrough” devices. It’s hard, and as an early-adopting digital reader and industry participant I often fall into the “tomorrow is going to look like today” mental trap. I don’t have a great cure, although re-watching Minority Report seems to help…