Qualcomm has showcased two new Mirasol reflective screens at SID Display Week, including a 5.1-incher with an impressive 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution and 577 ppi. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to make a commercial debut in the next couple of years or so.
Qualcomm may be best known for designing and manufacturing mobile chips, which are currently dominating the Android décor, but the San Diego-based company actually has numerous areas of expertise, including software or tracking device and satellite phone making.
Furthermore, Qualcomm has been developing and working on a new line of interferometric modulator displays for the past few years, known to the public under the trademark of “Mirasol”. Mirasol screens essentially reflect outside light, being therefore seen as ideal for future smartphones, tablets and e-readers in terms of power consumption.
With this new technology, it’s going to be extremely easy to use a gadget under direct sunlight and in any kind of ambient with bright exterior light. However, last we heard of Mirasol, the word was the panels were not yet ready for mass production and commercial release, with research and development set to go on for at least a few more years.
That however was a good 12 months ago, so you’d think between then and now Qualcomm had enough time to make significant strides and close in on turning Mirasol from theory to reality. Which is (partly) true?
On one hand, Qualcomm took the stage at SID Display Week in Vancouver yesterday to demo a previously revealed 1.5-inch reflective panel, plus a brand new 5.1-incher. Very encouraging, but unfortunately the smaller screen is only due to make a debut on third-party devices in the unspecified “near future”, while the bigger one is likely to be stuck in R&D for a couple of years or so.
And boy, oh boy, how cool does the 5.1-inch Mirasol display look! The thing is not only extremely energy efficient (supposedly six times more than LCD or OLED screens), but stunningly crisp and bright, rocking a 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution.
That translates into a whopping 577 ppi pixel density, which is just breathtaking. And yes, I know you don’t really need such high resolution on a tiny phone and the human eye supposedly can’t notice the difference between 1,080 and 1,440p. But still, can you really, honestly tell me you wouldn’t want a gadget with a display of this kind, especially that it can allegedly help your battery last for days in a row on a single charge?