Electro-wetting: no, not an embarrassing disorder!

screenshot of e-reader Most of us have heard of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, Sony’s alternative product, and the various other challengers for the electronic library market. If you set aside the disadvantages of being largely monochromatic, generally wedded to particular publishing outlets, and not much cop in the bath, this tech seems to be on the verge of mass indispensability.

BBC ‘Click’ highlighted Dutch firm, Liquavista, which is bringing that position closer to reality by not only developing colour and video capability, but also working on incorporating the oil-based system into flexible plastic sheets. Imagine, your whole library+ mag and newspaper subscriptions rolled up and slotted into the gap in your bag between the Volvic and the organic Pret butty!

A Luxurious indulgence? Maybe, for now. But with tech buzz about advancing the use of 3D environments and integrating virtual environments into what today are graphic intensive, interactive but standard internet fare, you start to see how pervasive this might eventually become. Add to this the Havok7 development that allows simulated impact effects and suddenly the potential for sophisticated virtual interactivity in your pocket starts to look like a runner.

How does this affect research and clinical practice? Two ways right off the top of my head: I could stop lugging hefty folders of documents or the tech to display them from site to site and still have what I need right to hand, and we could equip patients, clients, participants with highly mobile, less fragile, and more interactive devices that they can use anywhere cheaply and safely.

The downside? No idea where your Volvic or your sarnie’s going to go if you ditch the bag. Whatever happened to those pill-only diets we were all going to be on in the 21st century? Same place as the silver suits and the domestic robots that look like maids? Oh! Well, while we’re talking bots

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