Idaho- and Texas-based company Rohinni has demonstrated an innovation that could revolutionize one key feature of onscreen reading – backlights. The company’s innovation, Lightpaper, is described as “the world’s thinnest LED lighting,” and is essentially just what it says it is, a paper-thin white LED illuminated surface, that according to Rohinni can be manufactured in volume by the roll.
“With Lightpaper technology, you can just print light on what you want,” the company claims, although the only technology implementation on hand is a printed logo on the back of a Sony smartphone. The company’s current website is decidely light on detail about the technology itself, but reports elsewhere, especially in Fast Company, suggest that it is both far more durable than most advanced lighting solutions, with a claimed lifespan of up to 20 years, and programmable. The technology as described there consists simply of tiny LED diodes mixed with ink and sandwiched between outer layers.
Considering the marketing edge that Amazon saw in the Kindle Paperwhite, this kind of advance could be a significant step forward for comfortable ereading in low light. Whether it turns out to be a genuine game changer, and what its impact will be like on power consumption for portable devices, remains to be seen though. But it does look beautiful.