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.


It might look science-fiction, but Italians will be able to enjoy the READIUS sometime this year – Polymer Vision have cut a deal with Telecom Italia to market the device along with the network's personalised news services.  A built-in SIM card slot means it can be constantly connected to an EDGE/UMTS network as well as DVB-H IP data-casting, and take advantage of e-mail, news, location sensitive maps and ebooks, as well as user-loaded information on the 4GB of internal storage transferred via mini-USB.

Audio is also catered for, with podcast and music downloads supported.  Future models should be able to display colour and live video.  Navigation is carried out through a touch-sensitive LED array, designed to be used single-handedly, and battery life should be an astounding ten days on average. 

Telecom Italia will be sole providers in Italy, while Polymer Vision themselves will market it elsewhere in the world. 

Polymer Vision READIUS