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Polymer Vision seek funding to bring Readius to market

Polymer Vision seek funding to bring Readius to market

From a concept unlikely to ever launch, to a product we should've seen on the market already: Polymer Vision's Readius was promised for fall of 2008, but months later there's no sign of the innovative folding e-paper device.  According to CEO Karl McGoldrick, that's because the company needs more money; he's currently in talks with investors to refinance both the first Readius device and the in-development Readius 2.

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3GSM: ePaper gets real with Polymer Vision’s READIUS Exclusive Hands-on Photos!

3GSM: ePaper gets real with Polymer Vision’s READIUS Exclusive Hands-on Photos!

Rollable displays have been something of a mainstay of science fiction and futurology articles, perhaps because there's something undeniably cool about taking a product we're all familiar with - in this case paper - and giving it a super-sexy high-tech makeover.  However while there have been numerous prototypes shown at trade fairs and expos, up until now our e-books have been resolutely stiff.  Well, that's due to change thanks to Polymer Vision and their READIUS display.  SlashGear was there to have a good play, as well as take these exclusive photos.

 

Fitting a five-inch monochrome screen into svelte chassis takes some doing, and it's been a three year labour of love for the Eindhoven-based company.  Now they're ramping up production at a new UK plant, using Thin Film Transistor equipment which gives the high-contrast, high-reflectivity display an e-book friendly 16-levels of grey.  Currently screen refreshes take 1-2 seconds, meaning it's not really suitable for video, but the super-clear text and the fact that it only consumes power when changing the display, not for maintaining an image, makes it ideal for a dynamically updated text-news source.

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Wistron confirmed as Polymer Vision buyer: foldable e-paper in development

Wistron confirmed as Polymer Vision buyer: foldable e-paper in development

The unnamed Asian company which acquired ailing foldable e-paper startup Polymer Vision has been outed as Wistron.  Polymer Vision declared bankruptcy back in July, and were acquired in early September; the deal is now known to have been worth €12m ($17.75m).  Integration of the two companies actually began taking place last month, but right now it's still unclear whether the Polymer Vision brand will be maintained.

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Wistron folding e-paper device coming 2010

Wistron folding e-paper device coming 2010

Now that Polymer Vision's new owner - Wistron - has been confirmed, it's time for some speculation about what they might have up their sleeve with the folding e-paper technology.  Wistron's Brian Chong, chief of product planning, has confirmed that the company intends to release a 5- to 6-inch device using Polymer Vision tech in 2010.  From the sound of it, it's very much alike the prototype device Polymer Vision themselves were showing round before their sale.

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