When One Laptop Per Child was announced it was hard to know whether or not the technological advances from the non-profit would be used outside the struggling countries they were developed for. If you think about it, how could something made for a developing country be useful in countries overflowing with technological advances?
Well, it turns out that we have a lot to learn from OLPC and we have a lot to gain. One of the advancements we'll be able to take advantage of in the near future is a computer screen that can switch between traditional display and e-paper. The idea is that, when you're simply reading on your screen -- a blog, an online pub, research papers -- you really don't need to be using the same amounts of power you would if you were watching a YouTube video...
The screen is the next venture from Mary Lou Jepsen, who helped with the development of the OLPC XO notebook and split from the group in 2008. Called the Pixel Qi, the 10-inch screens are planned to be ship in high volume in Summer 2009. According to the company's website, "the epaper mode has 3 times the resolution of the color HDTV mode allowing for a high resolution reading experience without sacrifice to super color fidelity for graphics. In addition these screens can be used in sunlight." It's said these screens could save as much as 50% of battery life.
Her next project is creating a low powered television set that can display HD video without being plugged in. "We've had a lot of pull," she told The Guardian. "People want TV even if they don't have power… an HDTV that's under 10W and can be human-powered. We've figured out a way to do that."