One of the many technologies on displays at this year’s TOC was Qualcomm’s new Mirosal display technology. This and Pixel QI’s tech will probably kill the eInk reader. Both technologies are low powered, “quick” refreshing (though not as quick as a traditional LCD, color displays. While they do consume more power than eInk, my understanding is that they are far lower draw than a traditional LCD. That means that the battery on an eReader (or tablet) powered by this technology should be able to easily last between routine charges. Note that all of the smaller displays in the background are demoing Mirosal as well.
A couple points of clarification. The handheld unit running the video-loop is not an eReader. Nor is Qualcomm/Mirasol getting into the eReader business. They are, at this point, just providing the displays. The Qualcomm rep confirmed that we would see Mirasol on an eReader by years end, but could not confirm the manufacturer/marketer. My guess, based on Qualcomm’s previous relations and the desire to make a big splash with this technology, is that it will either be a Sony or Kindle reader. I don’t think there are other players big enough out there to compete with those two for the technology.
As far as it’s competitor, PixelQi… we will see that premier on Notion’s Ink Adam tablet (pictured above) later this year. The Ink Adam is a really interesting device that has the potential to give the iPad a real run for its money in terms of feature/price set (see comparison chart below — click for higher resolution version).
(BTW, you get my narration in the video because I was not able to synch up with the official Qualcomm rep, and the nice fellow working the booth isn’t allowed to be interviewed)