The future might be here

March 30th, 2012

LG has started mass producing flexible, plastic e-ink displays.

What we need now is for some consumer electronics company1 with deep pockets to buy a huge quantity of these things, give some talented programmers and user experience types their head, and present the world with a genuine alternative to the Kindle. Just for a start.23


  1. Preferably not Apple.
  2. Obviously it's nothing like that straightforward. What operating system do you use? Do you fork Android? License WebOS from HP? Do you build an App Store from the start, or concentrate on bundling decent e-reader and web browsing apps and then build a software ecosystem once you've got some users? Where will users get their content from? All excellent questions. But if there are no good answers then we're stuck for the next few years in a world where portable computing for the masses is dominated by Apple's tablet computers and a gaggle of alternatives led by Amazon's Kindle range hoping for Apple to stumble, and that's not a terribly appealing vision of the future of personal computing.
  3. Heaven help me, I'm almost wishing Microsoft would lead the charge, because they at least have deep enough pockets and sufficient bloody-mindedness to persevere. But then I remember the Zune. Oh well…

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