Pixel Qi has developed a 1280x800 10″ display that they are showing off at Computex this month. As with the 7″ display, hopefully this will be available as a kit for those hoping to retrofit it into their current laptops! I have yet to get over the simply delight of using a Qi screen, and can’t wait until all screens use something like this technology. (I’m holding out for a 20+” version so I can set up my desktop outside when it’s sunny.)
Pixel Qi confirmed last week that they are working on a 9.7″ screen for larger tablets, and blogged about their experience at CES. Charbax as usual has some great videos of both them and our own Ed McNierney. [for once he couldn’t decide whether to post the latter interview on his ARM-Watch site or his OLPC TV site…]
And according to one observer, Pixel Qi’s demonstrations at CES were “all sorts of impressive, effectively cementing its reputation as an E-Ink alternative with all of the advantages and none of the setbacks “.
The XO-1.75 prototypes are currently under development, and the laptops will enter mass production this summer. Some touchscreen prototypes are being made as well, but the primary model will not have touch. Thanks to Armada 610 ARM processors and improved Pixel Qi screens, the 1.75 will draw roughly half the power of the 1.5, while keeping roughly the same form factor and most of the existing industrial design.
These will be our first models with ARM chips, which we plan to use in our tablet designs later this year. The 1.75 should be roughly $20 cheaper to manufacture, than the 1.5, but the real drop in cost will come for rural deployments, as a result of the lessened power requirements. Not quite in the human-powerable range yet, but getting there.
The XO-3 will have a larger 9.7″ screen when it comes out in 2012, and will shave off another significant fraction of power – up to another full Watt.
I’m at the Open Content Alliance‘s annual meeting, this year about Books in Browsers, hosted at the Internet Archive in SF. It’s an encouraging gathering, with a lot of the technical and social implementations lining up as people give their short presentations.
I spoke yesterday about the olpc use case of rural and offline schools (you can find my slides online on the OLPC wiki), where bookreaders and the books they can find are often all that students have in the way of a regional library. Others in the audience added that there is also often no historical division between receiving stories and creating your own, or a tradition of ‘received knowledge’ that publishers have decided is worth distributing.
A few wonderful bits of news: the Internet Archive’s bookreader, which is one of the best browser-based readers around, now works with touchscreen input (NTS: get them a 1.75 model once they’re available!; some of their sliders are too small/close to the screen edges for the XO bezel). Mary Lou brought a new Pixel Qi screen with her from Taiwan (she and John will both be @ SFSU tomorrow). And a lot of people in attendance (including many people who are building the next gen of bookreader) are working on one of the core ideas of modern collaboration — that everyone is both reader and author at different times.
My favorite quote from the event so far: “Before the writer was ‘author’, before the invention of [literary] ‘genius’, artists simply transmitted culture that preexisted: spongs, dances, text, stories, poems that didn’t ‘belong’ to anyone. And their skill was the skill to transmit, not of invention, and attributable to a [muse], not to personal genius.”
I hope to see some of you tonight at 5pm at the opening party for the community summit!
Pixel Qi and Make ran through their stock of DIY kits for retrofitting a 3Qi screen into a standard laptop, on the first day they were available for sale. But now the screen kits are back. Check their list of definitely-compatible 10.1″ laptops, or try it out on your own.
Make and Pixel Qi are (finally) offering a 10.1′ Pixel Qi hacking kit for $275.
It is guaranteed to work smoothly with the Samsung N130 and Lenovo S10-2 netbooks. You can coax it into working well on many other machines with a 10.1′ display, but it may not always be a perfect fit. If you try it on another model, let us and the Make folks know how well it fits.
Congrats to the Make team for making this available! I can’t wait to try this out on a few spare machines. Of course Bernie’s TwoHundredDollarLaptop has a much larger sunlight-readable display…