The OLPC project, Hydra-like in its many initiatives, has given birth to a new project, focused on making an extremely versatile display with multiple modes, allowing consolidation of technology and (one hopes) reduction of total cost. After all, if a device is being used as an e-book, it shouldn’t be using TV technology to display the text; it’s both wasteful and less effective. So PixelQi is working on creating a display that’s good enough to work as both a high-definition LCD and a high-contrast e-paper surface as well.
The ultimate goal would be to implement touch gestures on it as well, but chances are that having so many layers in a low-cost display would damage its durability and increase its cost. In the meantime, they can at least provide a common display for the Classmate and OLPC-style netbooks being shipped to needy communities. According to their site, we’re looking at a late-2009 or 2010 release date, and they sound like they’ve pretty much got it locked down. No shots or video, but hey.