Synthetic opals bring post-Kindle e-books closer

A team of chemist-entrepreneurs says it has developed a photonic ink (“P-Ink,” unfortunately) that changes color with the addition of a few volts of electricity.

Electronic inks are already used in commercial products such as Amazon’s Kindle reader. Most current technologies use an electric field to manipulate drops of oil or pigment particles. The presence or absence of a voltage makes pixels on the display appear light or dark, and most displays are confined to monochrome. P-Ink, however, can display any colour without using pigments. Instead, it relies on the same effect that generates shimmering colours in the semi-precious stone, opal.

(If you’re having Roxy Music flashbacks now, me too.)

(Large friendly letters on the cover from BBC)