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Apple rumored to be considering LCD/E Ink hybrid


Apple recently filed a patent application titled "Systems and Methods for Switching Between an Electronic Paper Display and a Video Display," which describes a hybrid display technology capable of dynamically switching from a standard color LCD to black and white E Ink. The display would be controlled by the operating system and display switching would be done on the fly. According to the patent, the entire display or select portions of the display would switch based on the applications and content being viewed by the user. As expected, the color display would be used for rich media content, and the E Ink display would be used for text-based content from a source such as iBooks.

This is not the first time a manufacturer has envisioned a single product capable of simultaneously displaying E Ink and rich media content. Entourage took a different approach when it developed the Edge, a dual-screen clamshell tablet that has an LCD panel on one side and an E Ink display on the other. The unique tablet hit the market in 2010 and never caught on due to its older Android 1.6 operating system and bulky dual-screen design that pushed its size into netbook range. A single display solution would overcome this size problem and let users have one device that merges the best of the iPad with the Amazon Kindle.

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