LONDON Legal complications have left the administrators of Polymer Vision in limbo. The Eindhoven, Netherlands based company went into liquidation last month with the loss of 50 jobs, and when contacted, Smith and Williamson said they could not comment whether any potential buyer has emerged for the company's Southampton facilities, or the technology behind its displays.
Polymer Vision was a spin-out from Philips, which demonstrated its first Readius roll-out 5-inch monochrome flexible screen in 2005 and subsequently a full colour prototype last year.
Readius was set to be launched in the second half of 2008, but had run into difficulties raising the finances for a full-scale launch.
The screen was first intended to be released in a mobile phone but later turned into an e-reader – an electronic alternative to books.
"We cannot comment at this stage about the future of the company since there are several legal issues to be resolved," a spokeswoman told EE Times Europe.
Polymer Vision's display prototypes have a roll radius of 6-mm. The 65k color display has a resolution of 127 pixels per inch, while the monochrome display has a resolution of 254-ppi, claimed to be highest resolution e-paper display ever shown.
The original concept of the Polymer Vision display was in research by scientists at Southampton University which was then spun out into a company called Innos that was later acquired by an off-shoot of Philips Electronics.
Meanwhile Cambridge-based Plastic Logic, with maufacturing facilities Dresden, Germany, is months away from launching its flexible e-ink reader, according to reports.
Plastic Logic will have a flexible e-ink device on the shelves early next year in the U.S., priced at a similar level to Amazon's Kindle (from $299 upwards), according to reports.
The reports suggest the e-reader will be available in European countries sometime late 2010 or early 2011.
The flexible eBook, the technology behind which goes back to research at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory, will compete with the number of other eBooks that are already starting to appear in bookstores worldwide - the likes of the Sony Reader, and Amazon’s Kindle.
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