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We're On A Roll
By Peggy Bechko and Rowdy Rhodes
November, 2006, 07:45

As 2007 nears the reality of transportable content arrives with roll out screens.
In his novel, 1984, H.G. Wells predicted the loss of privacy due to technology. I suspect we all know he got that prediction pretty much correct. In the here and now, from the year 2006, we as writers will capitalize upon technology. That is, if we stay informed and up-to-date. It’s a challenge, which if properly met, can mean greater exposure and hopefully profits for us all.

It’s hard to remember that it was less than 100 years ago that homes had no televisions, and newspapers and radio were the prime sources of information. Virtually the only sources of information with the exception of local gossip.
 
Nowadays, prime sources of information vary with the Internet being the number one source, and a vast variety of other technology enters the marketplace almost like a drumbeat. From the platform of the computer, we’ve been launched into an incredible age of information and opportunity. Computers, cell phones, iPods, and now Polymer Vision and Turnover. New developments are on our doorsteps and in our faces.
 
Polymer Vision, also the name of the company that created the product, is as thin as paper and the ultimate format for displays: It rolls up! It's a rollable screen that reduces to a rolled radius of 0.75 cm (about the size of a standard pen). Yet, when opened up it provides a screen size of 240 x 320 (about the size of the graphic below).

Polymer Vision uses an organics-based active matrix display that works in all lighting conditions making it comfortable to read, rather like the page of a book or magazine.
 
Cellphones are an indispensable tool for business people on the move, and the emergence of broadband services makes them even more valuable. However, small, light phones have a crucial limitation – the size of the screen. Mobile displays simply aren't practical for many of the business-oriented applications enabled by broadband networks.
 
Contrast this with the convenience of a feather-light screen that unrolls from the phone or a tiny case to provide a larger, paper-like display that allows users to read content with ease. This is the power of rollable display technology. It transforms the experience of viewing content, making the phone an even more versatile business tool. This in turn will drive consumer demand for "anytime, anywhere" data-oriented broadband services, increasing operator revenues and opening the way to new application areas.
 
But that’s the business end. Here it is from a writer's POV. This amazing and really wonderful new technology will provide yet again another platform for your work to be distributed and read. Books, magazines, newspapers, everything printed can be read with these new devices. For years, naysayers of handheld book and article readers have constantly complained about the bulky design, inability to properly read due to small screen sizes, and a lack of standardized technology. All that’s about to change.
 
Compare a cell phone or handheld screen to the above display size and you can see why consumers will appreciate a Polymer Vision roll up screen. Why, once they get wind of this, they’re actually going to demand devices using this technology. 
 
Turnover provides the experience of book reading without use of paper.
Further exploiting the flexible technology is Turnover, by designer Timothy Yeoh at Plastic Logic. It uses two traditional aspects of reading – turning the page and folding the corner, humanizing the experience of reading an electronic book or newspaper. The screen that is rotated to the back refreshes the next page during the turning action, thereby simulating a whole book or magazine with only two pages and the capacity to store thousands of pages of content.
 
Products like these, and there are more emerging on the market, provide a durable electronic book that the avid reader can take to the beach, on a train or plane, or roll up and put in a pocket. They provide the world traveller a way to carry many books in a small, feather-light case and the ability to download and read the daily newspapers and the latest magazines. The musician can even carry sheet music on these things.

We’re looking at something very close to magic, folks, and its coming fast. And to make us all happy in a number of ways, they consume low power and update content wirelessly.

Low power consumption means fewer recharges, longer viewing without crashes due to dead batteries, and less energy expended overall. Wireless downloads means no need to be plugged into anything and still receive up-to-the-minute content.
 
E-books, as you know, are here to stay. Online newspapers and magazines subscriptions abound. This newest technology is like a booster to a rocket!

Hold on kids, we’re looking at the next leap forward.
  
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Author of Doubleday western novels, Harlequin romances, Fictionworks' fantasies (eBook format), Peggy Bechko has also optioned screenplays domestically and abroad, written for an animated series and for variety of other venues. She's working on a new novel and collaborating on a animated series. http://www.peggybechko.50megs.com/ 

Rowdy Rhodes is the Site Manager of The Freelance Writing Organization International and General Manager of Inkwell Newswatch (IN). He is also known to freelance an article or two when the fancy strikes him. If you are looking for written content for your web site, ezine, or print publication, drop him a line at rowdyrhodes@fwointl.com and he'll get back to you as soon as possible.



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