Polymer Vision, a spin-off of Philips, has squeezed a display the size of two business cards into a gadget no bigger than other mobile phones -- by making a screen that folds up when not in use. The 5-inch (13-cm) display ofthe "Readius" is the world's first that folds out when the user wants to read news, blogs or email and folds back together so that the device can fit into a pocket. Although the company had shown a prototype two years ago, now the gadget is in production and will go head-to-head with Apple's iPhone and Amazon's ebook reader Kindle when it hits stores mid-2008.
"You get the large display of e-reading, the super battery life of e-reading, and the high-end connectivity ... and the form factor and weight of a mobile phone," said Karl McGoldrick, chief executive of the venture capital-funded firm, in which Philips still has a 25 percent stake. "We are taking e-reading and bringing it to the mobile phone."
Like Amazon's Kindle, the Readius has a so-called electronic paper screen, which displays black-and-white text and images that look almost like they have been printed on paper. The device -- which will also just make phone calls -- connects to the Internet using the third-generation mobile phone networks with high data speeds. Polymer Vision said it was talking to retailers as well as mobile operators to sell the device. Although McGoldrick would not give an estimated price, he stated that it would be comparable to other high-end phones.
News source: Reuters