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DEMO '08 provides a venue to separate the hype

September 15, 2008

by Mark Ollig

With so many new high tech devices and innovations being dumped upon us every day, it would be refreshing to find a venue where these innovations could be separated from the hype.

DEMO (www.demo.com) is the site name of the “demonstration launch pad” for promising new technologies.

DEMO ’08 just finished up its annual conference last week in San Diego.

Over 70 of the newest up-and-coming high technology companies and hundreds of promising new products were presented at this conference.

Senior corporate development executives, journalists, venture capitalists, and creative entrepreneurs from around the world gathered at this year’s DEMO.

Some were calling this conference “a peek into the future of the technology business.”

Seeing new types of technology people will be using in the future has always fascinated me.

A new technology revealed at last weeks DEMO ’08 which caught my eye was the “electronic paper” reading device created by a company called Plastic Logic.

It doesn’t have an official name yet, so for now it is being called the “Plastic Logic Electronic Reader.”

As you know, high tech companies have been trying to come up with a truly portable and easily readable electronic device to use as an alternative to the paper medium.

A couple years ago Amazon came out with an electronic reading device called the “Kindle.”

The one disadvantage of the Kindle, in my humble opinion, is that the display screen is too small.

The Kindle electronic reader has the thickness of your average-sized book and only uses a six inch diagonal display screen, which was the turn off for me.

Some features I do like about the Kindle are the built-in dictionary, word search feature, wireless access, and adjustable text sizes.

I felt spending $400 for one was not worth the price.

If you do want more information about the Kindle, just go to Amazon.com, but I would wait until this new Plastic Logic electronic reader comes out.

The Plastic Logic electronic reader has twice the display screen size of the Kindle and is much thinner and “futuristic” looking.

The remarkable technology Plastic Logic has developed is a flexible, standard “paper-sized” organic or “plastic” electronic display the thickness of a credit-card.

This electronic reading device is intended as a replacement for paper, with the goal of making electronic documents transported and read just like paper documents.

The size of this durable high-tech electronic reading device is the same size as a standard 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of paper, and is as thick as a magazine.

After seeing it for myself, I must admit the size and clarity of the easily readable plastic display screen is amazing.

I want one.

It may not replace the printed paper page entirely, but it will no doubt supplement it.

I have seen the high resolution picture of this electronic reader and believe it has the potential of becoming one of the new “information retrieval devices” which will become common place. Here is the link to see it: http://tinyurl.com/5zjpty.

A person using this electronic reader can download and store thousands of documents on the device either by wired or wireless connections.

The reader incorporates “E Ink” or Electronic Ink technology which provides amazing clarity and unbelievably crisp text for easy-on-the-eyes readability indoors or out.

The device requires low power consumption and reportedly has a long battery life.

Supported document file types including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF files.

“The display is the key to the digital reading experience, and this is the key differentiator that sets Plastic Logic’s product apart,” said DEMO Executive Producer Chris Shipley.

Current electronic reading devices feature small displays that are based on delicate glass screens.

Proprietary plastic electronics display technology is what makes the Plastic Logic electronic reader display screen so unique.

Plastic Logic’s display technology uses high-resolution transistor arrays on “flexible plastic substrates,” manufactured at a low temperature.

A number of newspapers, books and magazine publications will be providing content to this new reader.

Plastic Logic says they desire to “lead a revolution in the way people acquire, organize and consume information.”

Don’t start the revolution without me.

Look for Plastic Logic’s electronic reading device (which will have a name soon) to become available during the middle of 2009.

It is very possible plastic electronics may replace the conventional silicon based semiconductor industry with components and products that weigh less, are less expensive to make, and are more environmentally friendly.

We will be hearing more about “organic” or “plastic electronics” in the near future as well.

It’s interesting to note that IDTechEx, an industry research group, estimates the plastic electronics industry will become a $30 billion market by 2015.

If you want to read about all the latest new technology presented at the DEMO conference, subscribe to “demotweets” on Twitter. You can follow DEMO’s twitter entries at https://twitter.com/demotweets.

To see the exciting new Plastic Logic electronic reader and watch a video about it, visit their web site at http://www.plasticlogic.com.

By using organic plastic display technology, electronic reading devices may one day become as commonly used as paper is today.

This technology is definitely not hype.