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Kent Displays creates chameleon-like electronics, adding jobs

What's your favorite color? That question may seem inconsequential now, but for those about to drop $1,000 on a sporty new laptop it can be downright paralyzing.

Thanks to the creative geniuses at Kent Displays, future laptop owners will be able to change the exterior colors of their machines with the proverbial flick of a switch. Cloaked in the company's Reflex LCD eSkin, a paper-thin liquid crystal display, devices such as laptops, smartphones and MP3 players can change appearances as quickly as a chameleon.

Founded by Dr. J. William Doane, former director of Kent State University's Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent Displays is a pioneer in cholesteric liquid crystal technology. Unlike standard LCDs that require a constant source of power, Reflex displays will retain an image indefinitely, even when the power is off.

The eSkin application is only the "tip of the iceberg," says Kevin Oswald, Kent Display's communications director. A new portable hard drive from Verbatim, for example, uses the technology to display available space even when the USB drive is disconnected.

Perhaps more impressive is the environmentally friendly eNote, a portable writing tablet. Consumers use a stylus to write on the pressure-sensitive display, eliminating the need for pen and paper.

While 99 percent of glass LCDs are still manufactured in Asia, Kent Display's plastic LCDs are produced on site at its Kent, Ohio facilities.

Kent Displays currently employs 60 people, but with the impending release of its eNote Tablet, and expected wide-spread adoption of its eSkin application, that number is expected to grow.

Source: Kevin Oswald, Kent Displays
Writer: Douglas Trattner

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