Systems and Methods for Switching Between an Electronic Paper Display and a Video Display. That’s the lengthy title of a patent filled by Apple in October of 2009 but recently discovered that, as the title suggests, details a hybrid display. A translucent e-ink screen would lay on-top of a traditional LCD screen giving the user the option of switching between a battery saving and sunlight-friendly e-ink display and the LCD. The advantages should be obvious: longer battery life, works in direct sunlight, and easier on the eyes when reading books all while not sacrificing full motion and vibrant colors that only LCDs can provide.
Like many Apple patents, this one may never see mass production. The pics used in the filing clearly fit the description of an iPhone or iPod touch but that doesn’t really mean anything. Those are just place holders describing how the system could be used. You’re free to dream though.