I am sure that many of you if you do not have one already have a e-book reader on your wish list for later this week – agreement on a standard format is another issue altogether and the reason I have not yet taken the plunge (well that and libraries are still cheaper plus I like the feel of paper) however as you know these devices (Kindle, Kobo, Sony reader, etc.) do not use an LCD (active electronics) to display the information but the more passive e-paper. E-paper only uses a small amount of power whenever you ‘turn’ the page to reverse the appropriate very small magnetic balls to show either their white or black side and then the power is effectively turned off again until you turn the page or request a display update. The challenge with e-paper until now has been that it is only “black and white” however since most instrument displays are also only “black and white” I am surprised that to date no one has taken the step to convert from LCD to this lower power alternative, especially all the wireless product manufacturers concerned with energy management.
Now, E-ink has announced colour e-paper at http://www.eink.com/display_products_triton.html so the restriction on having a low power alternative for field displays has now been removed, including I believe the ability to create a loop power IS colour display – process variables on a screen do NOT update more frequently than you turn the page of a magazine (these will soon be a viable option on your forthcoming e-reader and now that advertisements can be shown in full colour the digital e-zine economic model also improves) so we truly will become a more digital world in the future.
I hope to prognosticate in future postings on how smart phones will affect the way we may work and interact with our processes in the future so if you have case studies or examples that we can use as a starting point – please share.
As I anticipate this to be my final posting before the Holiday Season begins I would like to close by wishing ALL of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thank you for following. - Ian