It's about time to end this technology......
The reliability is so poor that cannot marketing.
The display team always do beautiful report but improvement.
MEMs display is cool in term of the idea but unfortunatly, it cannot mass production.
The mechanic structure is not work in display field.
PixelQi has two technologies out now. The first is as you describe and the latest shows some color in the sun. But with the color comes a sacrifice of a little clarity, in my opinion.
Although it must be noted that both technologies are an incredible step forward compared to pumping up the nits when the sun is shining.
My understanding is it's not sealed against moisture. Nice when you step out of a warm humid building into -30C air. Doesn't save a thing for power since it needs to be front lit for low light as well.
My understanding is that the Pixel Qi display is full color when backlit but is monochrome when in reflective (sunlight-readable) mode.
At least it was so the last time i checked. I'll check again.
Mirasol (Iridigm) was in early development /prototype stages back in the mid/late 90s? where it was unique, but smart phones and tablets barely existed, but now requirements of color /?grey scale at video rate for larger markets (possibly only worthy markets) it really does not fit the smartphone nor tablet sectors due to lack of video rate. And for slow update displays, MEMS fabrication is uncompetitive re high costs.
Pixtronix acquisition appears /is intended to remedy the speed issues of Mirasol, with mems shutters modulating color filtered backlights. Still the manufacturing cost might be a little on the high side?
Display innovation is hard stuff due to the relentless advance of LCDs and even the simplicity of LCD fab line conversion to more capable PixelQI. And other innovations constantly hovering about. But best markets are relentlessly demanding of features, that some techs could not keep up with.
For reasons discussed above there is greater rational for PixelQI, but I suspect their marketing is hardly probing their potential winning technical niches just due to trying to compete/ survive in larger markets. PixelQI is not connected to Camera makers, nor recognizing the Gas Station / outdoor video rate signage ( if not wanting LED displays ).
Interesting technical and market dynamics.
Qualcomm was late to deploy Mirasol commercially, even if going all in with the fab build late. It is a decent bare e-reader only monochrome display, since no PWM is needed, but video rate? (faster) B&W (devoid of greyscale) is of modest market interest.
Gaining grey scale or full color via PWM modulation of the display mems element kills the possibility of video rate, which is required today in medium and high end tablets (Netflix anyone etc).
Even for Digital Still Cameras, you'd still need a decent update when focusing, and if sunlight readable, you'd need a topside waveguide lighting for use in darkened rooms /low light (which might be low contrast versus LCDs).
For Cameras, I think the PixelQI which has dual modes of backlight and sunlight readable might be better (I forget if PixelQI sunlight readable retains full color but I think I remember this).
For gas station LCDs, sadly most of the advertising LCDs atop the gas pump with the noisy annoying loud ads are still quasi if not full out video, again killing the Mirasol applicability (color with speed requirement & still needing front waveguide lighting for nite time). Here PixelQI might be better again due to dual modes conventional backlit LCD and decent sunlight readability ( separate operating modes )
No question about superior viewing in full sunlight. However, few people do their reading in full sunlight. I wonder what applications would be appropriate. I can certainly think of one. How about the LED's on gas pumps. I couldn't read anything the other day on a west facing pump.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...