Apple may be toying with the idea of making a device's display switchable between electronic paper and a traditional backlit display, if this patent application is any indication of what they've been doing. Filed originally in October 2009, this filing describes the following:
Systems and methods for switching between an electronic paper display and a video display are provided. Control circuitry in an electronic device can analyze visual content to determine one or more features of the visual content. For example, the control circuitry can analyze visual content to determine the rate of change and/or color composition of the visual content. Based on the one or more features, the control circuitry can selectively enable the device's electronic paper display or the device's video display.
We're not entirely sure how possible that sounds right now, and perhaps someone with more display knowledge can throw in some thoughts on that.
Regardless, the idea is interesting, as we enjoy reading on devices like the iPad and iPhone, but prefer reading on eInk as it just feels much easier on the eyes. This could also be useful for using an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch out in the daylight. As anyone who has any of those devices knows how much bright outside light can diminish viewing quality.
Perhaps this could also be a sign that Apple wants to have the top eReader device in the market as well, eliminating the need to ask yourself: iPad or Kindle?
Hit the jump to see more drawings from the application: