PDA News – Rollable displays, Blackberry fix, Adios Fossil

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Rollable OLED color displays

If you were upset by the fact that the latest advance in rollable screen technology was only available in monochome, fear not–mental health professionals are on their way. But for the rest of you, a company called Universal Display Corporation has announced the development a full-color OLED display, placed on a flexible metal foil, to create a flexible screen that can be rolled and unrolled like paper.

If you wonder how this could be useful, imagine a big-screen TV that rolls up into the ceiling, or a 5″ display that hides inside a pen.

The downside? The technology involved was developed using partial funding from the Department of Defense, so we can count on it being a few years before us poor schmucks in the public get to play with them. But I can honestly say that before I read their press release, I had no idea that the U.S. Army has a “Flexible Display Center.” No wonder these guys can blow through $850 billion dollars a year without buying armor or bullets.



RIM talks about patent workaround–sort of

Ever since Research in Motion announced that they have a workaround that would let them sidestep the patent litigation filed by NTP, users of the popular email devices have been clamoring for more information. Now, RIM has finally provided some evidence of the existence and viability of the patch, though it remains to be seen whether it will save them from a painful financial settlement.

If implemented, the workaround–called the Blackberry Multi-Mode Edition, for reasons passing understanding–would require Blackberry servers and devices to receive a software upgrade. In the most likely scenario, this would affect all BB systems, including the estimated three million plus active Blackberry devices, a fact which could make it almost as disruptive as a system shutdown.

Even if the fix functions as expected, though, RIM isn’t entirely in the clear. NTP has announced their intention to thoroughly examine any proposed workaround and see if it violates their patents, in which case the fix might only delay the case. Market analysts agree that even if the fix is applied, RIM will probably have to settle for some amount of money to prevent the case from continuing.



Fossil pulls smart watches

If you’re a long-term reader of this space, you may recall that we reported last August on Fossil’s termination of their line of PDA watches. Now, the last vestiges of their inventory is being liquidated. The PDA watches have been removed from Fossil’s online store, and the last units are being sold by Amazon.com and TigerDirect for $33 and $49, respectively.


Echostar, DirecTV consider joining to build wireless network

Executives at DirecTV have reportedly confirmed that the satellite TV company is in talks with rival Echostar–operator of the Dish Network service–along with a number of other companies on the subject of creating a nationwide high-speed wireless internet service. This follows a comment made in January by Rupert Murdoch, the head of DirecTV’s controlling entity, that the company could spend up to $1 billion dollars to create such a network. Having a broadband internet service would allow satellite provides such as DirecTV and Dish to compete with the “triple play” services being offered by cable companies: VoIP phone, internet, and video. Such a network would likely be built using WiMax, which DirecTV has said that it’s “investigating.” At the current time, however, there’s no indication of how serious the talks might be, or what might come from them.




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