Electrowetting Displays

So it looks like Philips has come up with a 'paper replacement' display technology. The idea? Liquids trapped and zapped. Take a drop of ink and drop it in a tiny glass prison. When it's shocked with a small current it 'disappears'... another shock (presumably from a different direction or frequency) and it reappears.

ExtremeTech: Philips Spins Off 'Electrowetting' Display Venture

Sounds interesting, but...

1) It's still glass, and so far no one has delivered foldable glass.

2) They've got black and white, but so does eInk.

3) They say they can do color, but it seems like it should be an easy step from dropping in more colors of inks. So why haven't they?

3) There's no need for a backlight, but that probably means they've got a subtractive color system rather than an additive system. (Subtractive color reproduction almost always requires a fourth, black channel: RGB vs. CMYK.)

4) More color channels means bigger pixels. (The biggest hang up here is the lack of 'mixing' that you would see in print materials.) It would seems that surface tension would cause problems at the smaller and smaller sizes.

5) There would seems to be a lower limit to the size that this technology could reduce to. That limit would not likely approach that of AMLCDs or OLEDs.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what this new venture does.

-Dr. D.

Guru