Apple Insider reports Apple filed a patent for a type of hybrid display that could dynamically switch all or just part of the full-color screen to low-power black and white eInk for text and other static content.
The new dynamic, hybrid system described by Apple could have sections of the screen operate as a traditional LCD screen for displaying video, while other parts with static content would be served up in e-ink. Rather than depending on the user to switch between e-ink and LCD, Apple's system would handle the work and provide content in the ideal context.
Apple's interest in the technology was revealed this week in a new patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The filing, entitled "Systems and Methods for Switching Between an Electronic Paper Display and a Video Display," describes hardware that can selectively switch between the two types of screens.
E-ink displays, or "electronic paper" as Apple refers to it throughout the filing, are advantageous because they do not require a backlight to operate, and they can be read more easily in direct sunlight. E-reader devices focused on delivering books, like the Amazon Kindle, use e-ink displays.