Sean R. Lynch ☑️ is a user on literati.org. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
Sean R. Lynch ☑️ @seanl

I'm interested in exploring a design space personal computing devices have abandoned in favor of huge batteries and the most power one can use and still last about a day for most people.

Rechargeable batteries used to be expensive and not that great, so many devices used replaceable batteries and so needed to last at least a couple weeks on a charge. The Psion 5mx, Palm Pilot, and Game Boy Color are some examples in this space.

Continued...

The main devices I can think of that are still in this space are e-readers and standalone music players. The book readers pretty much all run Linux now (and in fact mostly Android), demonstrating that a Linux device can last a long time if it manages power well and has a low-power screen.

The big problem with e-readers from my perspective is that their screens are too limited. A memory LCD would give similar contrast and readability while being much faster to update.

Continued...

Memory LCDs are unlikely to support color, but with high resolution I think a memory LCD would still represent a big improvement in usability. Of course, manufacturers don't add them because the primary purpose of these devices is reading e-books, and an e-ink display is always going to look better than a memory LCD side by side.

@seanl To be honest, I prefer e-ink. I agree it's limiting as far as a UI goes, but there's this weird throw back to traditional book design that I really appreciate when developing the interface for an e-book.

I'm a straight up design nerd, but I think it's a credit to e-ink that it is so limited because it forces book designers to think more about layout spacing and type rather than implementing cool features that a device gives you.

@seanl JDI's memory-in-pixel tech does color - I'm wearing a JDI color memory-in-pixel LCD right now, in fact. (The Pebble Time line used them, as did one of the Garmin watches.)

However, contrast takes a huge beating compared to the Sharp monochrome Memory LCDs.

@bhtooefr I just discovered they even have a 4.4" one with VGA resolution. Unfortunately they only do 8 colors, though. I'd prefer something like the ACX705AKM-7, which is 240x160 with 512 colors with 47mW typical power draw.

earthlcd.com/products/lcd-pane