updated 12:20 pm EDT, Thu April 23, 2009
Pixel Qi Hybrid Display
Indirect OLPC offshoot Pixel Qi is developing a new display that would fulfill three different roles at once, the company's chief Mary Lou Jepsen said today. The panel is characterized for CNET as more advanced than that on the XO-1, which can only switch between an efficient black-and-white mode and a color screen. The new model would have these two features but could also assume an e-paper mode suitable for reading. It's not clear whether this would let images remain on the display when power is shut off, as with most e-book readers.
Jepsen supports OLPC's notion that screens should eventually get touchscreen capabilities, as they "shouldn't be [just] TVs," but says her imperative is to focus on developing world PCs, where using a minimum of power and readability in broad daylight are more important.
The OLPC team's notebooks have so far been the main clients for Pixel Qi's displays, though its role as a separate company will let it supply screens to other companies as well. Which clients have been lined up outside of OLPC, if any, aren't known; the XO-2 is due next year and should include twin multi-touch screens, but isn't yet known to be using Pixel Qi technology.