Que proReader -- a textbook study on the vaporous gadget. Start with an incredible (but truthful) claim to have developed plastic semiconductors that could be used to fabricate flexible e-reader displays. Then follow up the breakthrough with the all-important consumer tease: an amazing (for the time) 8.5 x 11-inch e-reader with a gesture-based UI that would launch in the first half of 2009. Unfortunately, the Que never shipped and was ultimately canceled, partly because of reliability issues associated with manufacturing those early Que displays and partly because of the launch of a rather disruptive Apple tablet you might have read about. Fast forward to today and we've got the state-owned Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (Rusnano) announcing a $700 million investment in the US-based Plastic Logic Inc. Why? Are you listening? Plastics. Here's how this "unprecedented" investment was described by Georgy Kolpachev, Rusnano's managing director:
The investment will be used to pay off Plastic Logic's debt including a $50 million loan the company took out after approaching financial collapse. The rest will be used for a second plastic electronics factory in Russia (a sister to the Dresden Germany plant) which is expected to start production in 2013 or 2014."Flexible plastic electronic displays will provide another major milestone in how people process information. Entering this new disruptive segment at the stage of its inception gives Russia a chance to win a leading position in global market of future electronics."
Update: Press release added after the break offering more details on the "world's largest commercial plastic electronics factory" that will be capable of producing hundreds of thousands of "next-generation plastic electronics displays" per month.