Apple patent teases display with LCD, e-ink components

Could a future iPhone have a display that blends LCD and e-ink components? It’s hard to know yet, but as AppleInsider reports, Apple has filed a patent for such a display—and the images in the patent application show an iOS preference panel with an on-off switch for an "electronic paper display."

E-ink displays are undeniably great for reading devices like Amazon’s Kindle, because they consume next to no power and can be read in direct sunlight. However, they have no backlighting and are slow to refresh, which makes snappy user interaction problematic. AppleInsider says the patent application describes a display with "’multiple composite display regions,’" where content could be shown in both the ‘electronic paper’ mode and ‘video display’ format at the same time." The implementation would involve a translucent e-ink panel sandwiched between the touch-sensitive area of the display and the LCD panel.

Now, Apple has apparently been cooking this up for a little while. AppleInsider mentions a patent filing date some time in October of 2009. The patent filing only became public this week, however. That means such a device might already be in the works—or it might not. Apple is known for filing many wild and wonderful patents and shelving the technology they describe.

Comments closed
    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Gotta love patent squatters that sit on patents that other companies might actually use and wait until they get nice and profitable before launching a series of “Give us the moneyz or we’re gonna kill youz” letters by lawyers paid more than any human being should reasonably be paid.

    Not that the Gift God Steve Jobs Gave (Apple) could ever do wrong…

      • albundy
      • 9 years ago

      until he croaks, lol. demons cannot be resurrected, cus he’s far from being a jeebuz.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    I think apple had foreseen already the fact that even though people are rushing to buy all their latest iStuff, ebook readers are not only about fancy new color screens and stuff. It’s like saying that in the advent of high quality printed color books, black ink printing in was going to die shortly: e-ink as black ink on white pages, gets the job done; it’s cheaper, easier on eyes, battery lasts longer, great outdoors legibility, why not use it too.

    This is a nice read, also from late 2009: [url<]http://paidcontent.org/article/419-ten-predictions-for-the-e-book-market-in-2010/[/url<] Pay special attention to #2. Probably the same conclusion was reached at some point in apple.

    • yogibbear
    • 9 years ago

    I have a patent where it proposes a composite tool that has a stapler and a pen duct taped together. Therefore solving the problem of when you finish writing on a piece of paper and want to staple it to another piece of paper YOU CAN.

    AHAHAAHAH STUFF YOU MR PEN PATENT AND MR STAPLER PATENT 😛

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      DAMN! YOU BEAT ME TO THAT! I JUST THOUGHT OF THAT YESTERDAY!

    • mcnabney
    • 9 years ago

    Uhm, doesn’t this already exist? Essentially the same thing as Pixel Qi’s dual-mode display.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      No, Pixel Qi says their products are just sunlight-readable LCDs, and that they’re the only ones in the world. That seems to eliminate e-Ink as their product, as clearly they’re not the only ones using it.

      • bhtooefr
      • 9 years ago

      What Pixel Qi has is an ordinary transflective monochrome LCD with a color layer behind it, so that when the backlight is off or the sun is overwhelming the LCD, it acts as a monochrome, but quite readable, LCD. (A normal LCD has the color layer in front, which blocks light.)

      This is for two separate displays layered on top of each other – the example given in TFA is a translucent e-ink display with a normal color LCD underneath it.

    • KarateBob
    • 9 years ago

    Patent Trolling at work. It promotes greed and stifles innovation.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      +1. this is retarded. they have innovated nothing here.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        You seem to be overlooking that one of the, “multiple composite display regions,” is a layer of magic.

        You are forgiven for this oversight, as you are obviously too poor to understand that “innovative” technology is created by fairies and unicorns and could not possibly be described with technical terms that show any actual difference.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          lolololol. I ♥ you OAS.

          as for poor, did you read the new report that says your typical iphone user is a poor person, and people making high incomes don’t generally purchase such devices?

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 9 years ago

            I did not, but it only makes sense. All but one person I knew of who got an iPhone were high school or college age kids with no money and their parents paid for it for them. Everyone else I know who actually paid money for a smartphone got something else. iPhones are in the $50 bargain bin now, anyways.

            The only people I’ve ever known with Macbooks bought it for their computer for college with all their savings from working at a minimum wage job in high school.

            That’s not to say that those are the only people buying them, but for every one of those select few people who has to spam all over the internets that they paid more for a Macbook because they did their research and it was the right tool for the job, there are countless kids blowing all their money to pick them up as shiny toys.

            • Dooby-Doo
            • 9 years ago

            [url<]http://everyjoe.com/work/who-will-buy-an-apple-iphone/[/url<] 58% completed college Average age is 31 43% live in New York or California Average household income of $75,600

          • KarateBob
          • 9 years ago

          Nobody reads patents anymore 😛

          • Dooby-Doo
          • 9 years ago

          Or, you could be the ignorant, retarded one, who can’t grasp what everyone in the legal professional specifically pertaining to patents can grasp, which distinguishes this patent from existing devices.

          I wonder which is the moron, the people who study law for 5-8 years, specialise in patents and do it for a living, or you – a sad internet troll who hates a company.

          Bless.

      • stmok
      • 9 years ago

      [quote<]Patent Trolling at work. It promotes greed and stifles innovation.[/quote<] Patenting something isn't stifling. Its when one uses the awarded patent as an offensive weapon in order to hold back their competitors: does it become destructive to innovation as a whole. (...And that's really only affecting software more than anything else. See Apple, Microsoft against HTC, Motorola, etc in the smartphone market.) The US Patent system is stuffed up when it comes to software. You shouldn't be allowed to patent software. Period...Now they are literally swamped with people filing nonsense and trivial things. The backlog is incredible. So they're trying to clear it and dumping the consequences to court (patent cases) and settlements...Its going to kill the American software industry. (Unless something is done about it.)

        • KarateBob
        • 9 years ago

        A regular company patenting something is fine. Apple and their Lawyers patenting stuff is bad.

        There’s a major difference in intent. That was my point.

          • blorbic5
          • 9 years ago

          I agree with you but its not just apple and their lawyers, its any large “company” that patents something and then waits for someone to invent it or bring it to the market and then demands money for it.

            • Wirko
            • 9 years ago

            “Patent portfolio” is the keyword here. Whenever you see a company using this dreaded term, you can be pretty sure of that.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          I don’t agree. there are TONS of examples where everyday things being patented has held people back. IMO, and the opinions of a great many economists, patents themselves are a problem.

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