How New Coating Will Boost iPad Battery Life And Readability [Exclusive]

How New Coating Will Boost iPad Battery Life And Readability [Exclusive]

3M's new coating might make outdoor readability problems a thing of the past. Photo by Louis Rodriguez - http://j.mp/iTDJxa

The iPad 2 already has phenomenal, 10-hour battery life, largely thanks to a combination of Apple’s custom-built, power-sipping A5 chip and the fact that inside, the iPad 2 is mostly battery.

Thanks to a new, cutting-edge tablet coating, though, your next iPad could run for twenty hours or more on a single charge, while providing Kindle-like outdoor readability.

3M has just perfected a new optical film perfect for tablet displays that can greatly increase display brightness without increasing power drain.

Called a Brightness Enhancement Film, 3M’s new coating combines a 26 micron thin, high brightness reflective polarizer with a high efficiency back reflector. The result is incredible: tablet displays that look brighter, even though they are drawing half as much power and emitting half as much light.

Even better? 3M’s new tablet coating has no practical effect on display quality. In fact, it improves it markedly, especially in outdoor daytime environments… an environment where the iPad traditionally lacks compared to e-paper displays like that used in the Amazon Kindle.

And think the iPad 2 is already insanely thin? It could get even thinner, thanks to 3M’s new coating. In fact, 3M’s solution is 30% thinner than most existing backlight films.

If Apple leverages 3M’s technology in the next iPad, the end result could be a tablet that obviates all of the Kindle’s strengths short of a budget price: fantastic outdoor readability, wafer-thinness, and true all-day-battery life, all while boasting raw, next-gen performance and power.

As of writing, Apple has not yet responded for comment.

If you’d like to see 3M’s new tablet coating in person, it’ll be on display this week at SID Display Week 2011 in Los Angeles from May 16th through 20th.

  • Brandon Chang

     hope this isnt just sum prototype thing that never goes into conusmers hands

  • Chris

     is this an accessory that can be put onto the screen or does it have to be built inside?

  • trrosen

    It goes inside underneath the LCD. Seems to work buy straightening out the light going into the panel from the backlight. Seems like I might refuse viewing angle though.

  • TylerHoj

     Really? Thats great! I order adhesives from 3M for iPad 2 cases I’m developing. It’s great stuff!

  • TylerHoj

     …and in hopes of a better build quality of a screen, I really hope they adopt something like this. The iPad 2 can be dim at times, and the current manufacturing of the screens suck! I don’t care what anyone else’s iPad 2 looked like, my first one had to be replaced and took 5 WEEKS! 

  • Ronald Stepp

    Drool, drool, drool…..  

  • Sean Su

    Actually the A5 is mostly a marketing term for a combo of Samsung built CPU and GPU, neither of which are from Apple. The A5 consists of a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU (from ARM Holdings) combined with a dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU (from Imagination Technologies). I suppose one can try to argue that since they put it into one board in a small package that it’s an “Apple chip”.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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