back to article Phone with foldable e-paper display to get summer roll-out

Manufacturer Polymer Vision has announced that its Readius e-reader, which features a foldable, roll-out 5in screen, will finally hit stores later this year. telecom italia and polymer vision's readium Polymer Vision's Readius: has a 5in display and makes calls A prototype Readius has been around for some time, but this is …


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  1. Brian


    Sounds interesting, but it looks to still be missing a few features before I'd get it... (ie, can it top a blackberry?)? Still though, small steps, is a positive move forward :-)

  2. Jason Togneri

    Interesting indeed

    I don't like the device for itself per se, but I like this folding screen idea. Incorporate one into my mobile phone - so that I can roll it out for web browsing at my leisure - and it'd be a damned good addition. Perhaps touch-sensitive and with a stylus too?

    Imagine a whole wealth of mobile devices which you could use on the go, but you could also take a moment at a desk or on the train, roll out your screen, and work properly. Maybe the screen could be an external data attachment. Hmm, 24" roll-up wall screens coming next for my computer? Exciting stuff!

  3. Barry
    Thumb Up


    That is an excellent choice of eBook, I must say.

  4. Duncan Hothersall

    Well that's all very nice

    ... but this is 2008! I want it to automatically unfold into an A5 size full colour screen, and I want it to make a zhoom noise when it does it. And would a transporter function be so hard? Jeez.

  5. David Gosnell


    Are you sure it's a phone, beyond its data capability?

  6. Sampler

    No WiFi?

    Seems to have every other radio in there - more useful than the bluetooth too - discounting headphones that is.

  7. David Paul Morgan
    Thumb Up

    Looks like the gadget in

    "Earth: Final Conflict".

    When they received a phone call, they slid the screen out and had a computerised web & video call. cool

    Looks a bit like this - can't find a TV screenshot.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Science Fiction, Science Fact.

    'Earth, Final Conflict' anyone?

    All it needs now is a small camera and a colour screen, and you'll have their communications device.

    Way to go.

  9. Wolfman

    Anyone remember...

    ...Earth Final Conflict the TV series.

    They had phone gadgets similar to this one with folding screens, except they had:

    Colour folding screen

    Touch screen

    Video camera

    Looked much cooler in blue!

  10. jai

    very cool

    it's a funky idea - and images of Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age abound, but i'm still unconvinced that there's much of a market for e-paper devices yet. are the Kindle and eBook very popular? i'd have thought people would rather read news websites on their phones rather than pay to download an electronic format of a newspaper - and i'd rather read an actual book than one on an electronic screen

    but we shall see - as Brian above says, it's a positive move forward and it'll be interesting to see what tech becomes available in 5 years based on this

  11. eddiewrenn

    interesting #2

    As a bit of a gadget-freak, this looks really interesting to me - just something about the design and novelness of the e-paper. I liked the idea of the Kindle, but the product looked a bit too 80s etch-a-sketch/talk aloud toy to take it much further.

    What's most interesting about it is wonderding what version 2 will bring, and what slinky toys competitors bring out.

  12. Chris
    Thumb Up

    I remember...

    I remember seeing the video of the prototype when that was first announced, and have been waiting for this ever since.

    I've got a feeling that it's going to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it devices... I can't see much from the pictures given about the interface / controls and that's what I'm worried will make the device difficult to adopt.

    As someone who's started to order eBooks to get my grubby mitts on information faster than Amazon delivering it, I'm still looking for a satisfactory way to read them comfortably. While I've not tried it to many times, even my EEE PC isn't anywhere nearly as friendly as a good book.

  13. Robbin Nichol
    Thumb Up


    Hope its more competitively priced than the Kindle is.

  14. David

    foldable e-paper it absorbent?

  15. david gomm

    this is a massive step forward

    In my laymans opinion, since we now have large capacity flash ram, fast mobile CPUs, bluetooth for peripherals (or maybe wireless USB ?) and a reasonable SFF (Small Form Factor) keyboard design, the largest remaining obstacle to device convergance has been the display.

    A SFF display doesn't work for anything other than basic functions but people want to converge to a SFF pocket/handbag friendly device.

    Does anyone know if there is potential for this technology to evolve to handle colour and FMV ?

    If so then the potential is truly revolutionary.

  16. Bad Beaver


    How is input managed? Is one to dabble in text via that sensor-bar or whatever it is, or is there a touch-screen? Does it come with a foldable keyboard, or is the foldable keyboard available at an excessive price, but only if you can find someone who actually bothers to stock it (yes, I'm looking at you, Nokia)?

    Otherwise - sweet e-reader! Compact due to the foldable screen, decent connectivity... and as a "phone" it will likely come subsidized. It's tomorrow's pocket book.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a theory:

    "No new technology will be respected and widely used until companies drop the 'e' prefix."

    Basically, smacking an 'e' in front of a product name says, "This thing doesn't stand on its own; it's a clunky version of an existing technology that costs too much."

    Once the tech and the market move forward enough to stop companies from feeling it's necessary to scream, "IT'S ELECTRONIC! EEEELECTRONIC! THAT'S NOVEL! YES, ELECTRONIC! ELECTROOOOOONIC!" and instead market the product on its merits, things will start going a bit quicker.

  18. Alan


    it come in red with the words 'don't panic' on the front?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Great looking device, fair outshines the Amazon and Sony gadgets - more sleeker, ergonomical - I hope it does well!

  20. The Mole

    Re Jai: actual book

    Jai what are your reasons for wanting to read an actual book rather than an electronic screen? EPaper is meant to be different too all current display technologies in that rather than emitting light it is just like a book in that it is reflective and the image is stable rather than being constantly refreshed. This should make for a much more book like reading experience although i've yet to see one in real life to know for sure.

    Of course a book does have the advantage that it battery won't die. But then again you can fit a small library on an 8gb memory stick and chargers are tiny - particularly if it can be charged from a usb cable.

  21. Mage

    Think paper, not Video

    It takes this technology about 1s to refresh a page. It works by rotating tiny balls in cells that are 1/2 black, 1/2 white. hence colour would be about 1/5th or 1/6th brightness.

    The grey is a partially rotated ball.

    Though no power needed to maintain ball position.

    This is *ALWAYS* going to be a tech best suited to reading text. So email is OK, static mostly text web page Ok and ebooks brilliant.

    But forget colour, flash, video ...

    Yes in theory colour is possible at huge brightness penalty (white /black is very like fax quality in dim or full sunlight. No backlight). And maybe faster ball rotation using high voltage (x10 power?). But is hard to imagine it getting fast enough for video. ( 12fps needs about 40 times faster to avoid bad blur)

  22. Mage
    Thumb Up


    I want one anyway. But with WiFi too.

  23. Lupus

    FAO Duncan

    And whilst we're at it, where's our flying cars?!

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