Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Plastic Logic's QUE proReader looks to mean business!

Konrad Herre, VP Manufacturing, Plastic Logic, gave a very interesting presentation on the commercialization of plastic electronic technology -- specifically, new product segments based on organic electronics, at the recently held International Electronics Forum (IEF) 2010, organized by Future Horizons in Dresden, Germany.

The company has been in the news for its QUE ProReader, (eReader) which it claims, is a milestone in the evolution of plastic electronics. Electronic reading will be natural, easy and comfortable, while using the QUE, according to Herre.The QUE proReader features an unique form factor, large display, is light in weight and thin, and even shatterproof. It has an intuitive user interface featuring touch navigation. Obviously, a main strength of the product is it use of powerful software tools, which enable notes, mark-up, zoom, etc. Of course, the wireless download capabilities provide easier access to content. The QUE uses a Li-ion battery.

The QUE ProReader has been built using Plastic Logic's unique plastic electronics technology. The result is a stunning form factor that is sleek, lightweight and incredibly easy-to-read. Its touchscreen-based interface is elegant and easy-to-use.

Plastic Logic is a spinoff from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory in 2004. It had the proof of concept validation done in 2004. With regard to flexible display module manufacturing, the company's started focusing on display manufacturing in 2006. The groundbreaking in Dresden happened in 2007. The first displays from its factory appeared in 2008, with ramp slated for 2010. Product trials happened in 2009, with launch sometime this year.

Touching upon the industrialization of the flexible display concept, Herre said there had been a private financial funding for a production facility of over $100 million. Over 200 locations were evaluated globally, before the company arrived at the decision to develop a manufacturing facility in the 'Silicon Saxony' region of Dresden, Germany starting in May 2007 for volume production in 2009.

Why select Dresden as a location? Plastic Logic cited reasons such excellent local support in all areas, ground, workforce regulations, etc., experience and infrastructure for R&D and volume manufacturing, development grants, good industrial area for development, etc. Perhaps, the fact that the IEF 2010 was held here should be proof enough!

I later checked the site, and found there are two varieties of the QUE proReader -- with 4GB and Wi-Fi for $649 and with 8GB, Wi-Fi and 3G for $799.

Product specifications for the Wi-Fi and 3G model are:
Connectivity: Cellular (GSM), Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), USB, Bluetooth 2.0.
Memory: 8 GB (Approx. 7.5 GB available for user data).
Display (active area): 10.7" diagonal, 960 x 1280 pixels at 150ppi, 8 gray levels.
User Interface: Full touchscreen, Virtual keyboard.
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, charging via computer or wall charger.
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11" x .3".
Weight: Approximately 17 ounces.

It can be used with a Blackberry smartphone with Bluetooth. With the QUE software on your Windows PC, Mac or BlackBerry smartphone, a user can quickly and easily convert and transfer documents to the QUE. Now for that long due product launch!

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