We’ve seen a number of technologies pop up recently that can help to prolong battery life for laptops and other mobile devices by working with or without a backlight. But while solutions from Pixel Qi, Qualcomm, and others rely on transflective displays which typically cut power by turning off the backlight and switching from full color mode to a black and white or a less color saturated mode, the folks at Yanko Design have put together a concept for something a little different.
The idea is that the Second Life Mobiel Phone Concept would combine an AMOLED display with an E Ink display. When you’re actively using the phone, the AMOLED display kicks in and shows you full color, full motion graphics. In standby, the E Ink display kicks in, allowing you to read text, view the time, and interact with your phone without killing battery life — because E Ink only draws power when you refresh the screen.
Since E Ink has a slower page refresh rate, you wouldn’t want to use it for watching videos or viewing rich media content, but you might be able to use the E Ink mode to read web pages, view email, and perform some other tasks in low battery mode.
I’m not sure I could see this working as well with notebooks or tablets, but it makes some sense for mobile phones. For now it’s just a concept though.