Conran re-imagines the camera … with a big hole

The Conran design firm was recently asked to re-imagine an everyday item by BBC Future.

Its designers picked the digital camera, and the resulting concept certainly is different. The Conran camera does away with the typical protruding lens and instead features a large hole through the middle, surrounded by an array of small camera sensors. It also lacks an LCD monitor and is instead designed to wirelessly connect to a smartphone.

ared Mankelow, Senior Product Designer for Conran and Partners, says one of the core ideas behind his design for the camera was that it shouldn’t act as a barrier between photographer and subject. As such, he decided there should be a large aperture through the center of the camera for framing shots in a more natural (although potentially less accurate) way.

This hole is then surrounded by an array of somewhere between 10 and 20 small image sensors – like those used in mobile phones – which would work together, allowing the camera to “resolve images with incredible clarity.” Around the sensor array, there’s a ring flash (always popular with macro and fashion photographers) which would allow for lighting close-up subjects.

The fact that there’s a big hole in the camera also means there’s no practical space for an LCD monitor on the rear. But, according to the designer, that’s not a problem because we all already carry around high-resolution screens on our mobile phones and tablets … and screens are power-hungry anyway. The Conran camera would instead be able connect via Bluetooth and transmit images to your smart device instantly.

Read more . . .

via Gizmag – 

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LG unveils flexible plastic e-paper display

The world’s first plastic EPD

LG has made no secret of its fondness for flexible e-paper, but those dreams became a reality today, with the announcement of a six-inch display that promises to “revolutionize the e-book market.” The malleable plastic display sports a resolution of 1024 x 768 and can bend at an angle of up to 40 degrees. At just 0.7 millimeters thick, it’s about one-third thinner than similarly-specced glass displays, and weighs in at 14 grams — about half the weight of its glassy competition. LG also claims that the display is super durable, as evidenced by a series of successful drop tests from a height of 1.5 meters.

From the LG Press Release:

LG Display Begins Mass Production of World’s First Plastic E-Paper Display

With advancements in functionality and design, Plastic EPD to revolutionize E-Book market

LG Display [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220], a leading manufacturer of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display, announced today that it has started mass production of the world’s first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for use in E-Books. The 6″ XGA (1024×768), e-ink, plastic EPD is expected to revolutionize the E-Book market with its advancements in functionality and design.

“With the world’s first plastic EPD, LG Display has once again proven its reputation for leadership and innovation with a product we believe will help greatly popularize the E-Book market,” said Mr. Sang Duck Yeo, Head of Operations for LG Display’s Mobile/OLED division. “Based on our success in mass-producing plastic EPD, we are excited as we look toward applying concepts from this experience to future developments like plastic OLED and flexible displays.”

Innovations in Functionality and Design
The world’s first plastic EPD from LG Display offers users a paper-like reading experience with a plastic substrate that is as slim as cell phone protection film, and a flexible design that allows bending at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen. Compared to glass EPD of the same size and resolution, LG Display’s plastic EPD realizes a super slim thickness of 0.7mm which is 1/3 slimmer than existing glass EPD; as well as a weight of 14g which is more than 1/2 lighter.

E-Book users have long expressed a desire for more durable EPD, since around 10% of them have damaged their product screens from accidentally dropping or hitting them. When LG Display’s plastic EPD was put through repeated drop tests, from 1.5m above the ground or the average height of reading when standing, no damage resulted. When put through a break/scratch test involving hitting the display with a small urethane hammer, no scratches or breakage resulted.

As EPD gets thinner, lighter, and more durable with the introduction of plastic EPD, E-Books will be able to offer certain unique benefits compared to smart devices and tablets, including reduced eye fatigue and more efficient electricity consumption in addition to lower prices.

Read more . . .

via Engadget and LG

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