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Photos: Polymer Vision's Readius with rollable display

Polymer Vision is taking E Ink to rollable places with its Readius -- a device that rolls a 127mm (5-inch) screen into a compact form factor, making it far more portable than Sony's Reader

Last year we saw Sony's Reader out at CES in Las Vegas and it left a lasting impression. It just looks so much like paper and it has a massive battery life. The problem, however, is that it's not the most pocket-friendly device ever made.

Fortunately, a company called Polymer Vision, which spun out from Philips in 2006, has come up with an ingenious solution. It's called the Readius (pictured) and it's an E Ink display that's similar to the Sony Reader, except for one important factor -- it's rollable.

You can roll the 127mm (diagonally) E Ink display into a compact form factor that measures 56mm wide, 100mm tall and 21mm deep, so it will fit into a jacket pocket. The Readius can display 16 shades of grey and it has 4GB of on-board memory, so you can store all your books, emails and PDFs on it. It also features USB, as well as GPRS/EDGE and DVB-H connectivity, meaning you can download data wirelessly, too.

What left the biggest impression, though, was the ten-day battery life, which means you can literally read an entire book on it without needing to recharge. Although the Readius is a standalone product, Polymer Vision explained to us that what they're really interested in is teaming up with portable device manufacturers to integrate this technology into a variety of different devices.

This is probably one of the most exciting products out at 3GSM because it potentially could revolutionise the mobile phone industry. In five years' time it may be possible to use E Ink to display full videos in colour on large rollable screens. The benefit of this would be that screens could be made much larger without compromising on quality and power.

The Readius will be available some time later this year and we really hope that a mobile phone manufacturer teams up with Polymer Vision soon.

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As you can see, when it's completely rolled up the Readius is pretty compact for a device featuring a 127mm (5-inch) screen.

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The screen has a solid back to make it more robust, but there are hinges along it so that it bends around when it's rolled up.

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The Readius downloaded Sherlock Holmes -- words can't express how much this looks like paper. -AL