The Jig Saw

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

WIRED [Joseph Jacobson ,MIT Media Lab Asia] writes about 2 promising technologies that will help reduce the cost of hardware -

The first is a thin, folding screen in development at MIT's Things That Think consortium. Unlike typical LCDs, this approach uses rear-­projection, and with its fold-away design, a laptop could be quite small. Best of all, a 12-inch screen of this variety could cost as little as $30. [Displays typically costing manufacturers about $170]

The second promising technology would allow us to keep the current laptop form and is based on lowering the cost of thin-film transistors used in LCDs. This approach uses a nascent technique called printed electronics to print transistor patterns with special semi­conducting inks. There are about two dozen projects under way at startups like E Ink and Kovio (I was a founder of both), as well as at large corporations focused on adapting the economics of printing to the manufacture of TFTs and displays. These efforts could lead to 12-inch displays that also cost about $30.


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