Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Battery Technology May Not Keep Up with E-Reader Technology

At the DisplaySearch Business Conference, which took place as part of SID on Monday, Jim Cathey, Vice President of Business Development from Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, compared the current state of the e-reader market to what his company previously experienced in the handset market: as readers evolve from monochrome, static page viewers to add color, video and interactivity, the power demands of the device will skyrocket, while battery technology will continue to improve by a meager 3% to 5% per year. “When we look at the market for e-readers,” said Cathey, “we see history repeating itself.” He posits that the only way to break this cycle is by adopting reflective display technologies with ultra-low static power consumption, like Qualcomm’s Mirasol MEMS display, to enable color video on-demand with weeks of battery life between charges. Further, Cathey believes that long battery life will increase average revenue per user, or “ARPU”, the key measure of success for mobile network operators. The reasoning is simple enough; an e-reader with a dead battery can’t be delivering advertising impressions to its owner. -- Robert Zehner, E Ink Corp.

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