Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Magnetic Monitor

Magnets in the screen of the monitor re-arrange for a monochrome display with a roughly equivalent resolution to a modern day light monitor.
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The advantages: No glare. No destruction of sleep cells. No energy drain for a constant screen. I imagine such a monitor would be ideal for reading an online book. In fact, I would suggest just such a thing. A kindle should be like this. The disadvantages: Hard to see when it's dark. No color (though I could see some extension to create it). Higher energy input, probably. Some display lag. The how: Something akin to an etch-a-sketch where magnetic cells are brought to the fore ground or background in individual cell-pixels to create darkness or light. (not to say that's how an etch-a-sketch works, I think it just helps visualize it.) Electromagnets in each pixel cell would be able to repel or attract the shavings using fairly weak magnets, not affecting other cells ideally. This idea might be in the bakery already, just thought of it after staring online for too long and thought to share.
Alizayi, May 12 2012

Pixel Qi http://www.pixelqi.com/products
Different technique,similar result, except that it can be switched between modes. [erenjay, May 12 2012]


       Nice, but how would it differ from the eInk display of, say, a Kindle? That has no (or negligible) power requirement to hold a static monochrome display, and doesn't emit light.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 12 2012

       ...alternatively, it would provide a kind of Götterdämmerung device for the Pirate Bay folk.   

       All you'd need is 600 x 800 pieces of steel, say 5m x 5m coated black on one side and white on t'other. These then get rail-gunned to the moon.   

       There they slot into a massive grid, they have a simple electro-magnetic controller and flip to show black or white. TPB can threaten to screen knock-offs of the latest dull Hollywood film...   

       All you'd need is a telescope and a cloudless night (so that's the UK out).
not_morrison_rm, May 12 2012

       If you could somehow set it up in such a way that you could draw things on the computer with a permanent-magnet pen, then it would be good for drawing outside, because of its low-glare properties.   

       Interesting concept,if you could make the refresh rate close to that of a normal monitor it would have a large advantage over e-ink, otherwise not so much.
erenjay, May 12 2012

       A Kindle has some sort of ink display? Is it always like that? I was under the impression that it's hard to read a Kindle for very long without burning your eyes. If this eInk takes a while to refresh than this *should* have that advantage over it. It's just off-and-on toggled pixels, so it should be negligibly different from a light display.
Alizayi, May 12 2012

       //A Kindle has some sort of ink display?// What [21q] said. The Kindle eInk display looks like regular paper, but with a slight gloss to it (the plastic face). You can read it in full sunlight (though not in darkness, since it has no backlight). When the device powers down, it retains whatever the last image was. The refresh rate is low (maybe a fifth of a second) which is fine for books and so on.   

       eInk works (IIRC) by having little capsules of liquid containing black and white pigment particles. Electrophoresis then moves either the black or the white particles to the fore, where they stay until changed.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 12 2012


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