Pixel Qi Introduces Next Gen of Sunlight Readable ScreensPixel Qi designs and manufactures a line of displays for computers and tablets viewable in sunlight. Using a unique design architecture, their products don’t need the backlight on when outside or in a bright room. Rather, the displays are transflective, capable of reflecting most of the light that comes at it.
True, color replication without the backlight on is virtually nonexistent (the transflective mode is almost entirely black and white, though you can notice a little coloring if you look closely) but I don’t think that most people would care, especially considering the power savings.
Pixel Qi’s new screen is not only more power efficient, it also boosts the screen resolution into retina territory. The new display manages to match the iPad’s for resolution.
Pixel Qi has a really compelling graph showing just how drastic the power savings are. Mapping screen power consumption in watts in four environments (lowest power mode, a dark room, a bright room, and outside), you can see just how much energy the new Pixel Qi screen saves. The iPad 3’s screen draws an incredible 8 watts when you turn the brightness up while outside, which compares to the Pixel Qi’s 1 (with the backlight off).
In fact, despite running at such a high resolution, the new Pixel Qi screen manages to consume roughly the same amount of power as the iPad 2, meaning that it never dips below half the power consumption of the new iPad’s screen. But when the screen is off, there is virtually no current draw (whereas both the iPad 2 sees a current draw of 1 watt and the new iPad sees a current draw of 3 watts). And when the Pixel Qi screen is outside, well, the power consumption is a third of even the iPad 2’s display.
Right now Pixel Qi is working on signing up partners for their display tech. Despite being quite impressive, Pixel Qi hasn’t seen much success outside of government contracts. There have been a few tablets to use their screens, but in all cases the products have not been stellar. Perhaps, with the new, higher resolution, Pixel Qi can finally break into the consumer market.