Paper Thin (Almost) And Sunlight Readable
Makers of electronic flight bags and cockpit computers have struggled with making the things readable in direct sunlight and no one has really figured out an elegant way to display approach plates. But at AirVenture 2006, we saw an intriguing gadget that appears to have broken the code. The eFLYBook from Arinc was described by a company representative as "electronic paper." And it is, too. It's an impressively thin tablet computer (Linux based) about the size of a standard approach plate. Rather than a backlit LCD display, the eFLYBook uses proprietary technology from iREX that works sort of like a high-tech Etch-a-Sketch, requiring only tiny amounts of power and displays in a black and white (ish) format. It looks almost like ink on paper and, like ink on paper, this electronic display is easier to read in direct sunlight. The display doesn't refresh fast enough to work as a moving map, but it's perfect for electronic representation of charts and plates, POHs and other documentation. The device sells for $1100. Find more information on Arinc's site at www.arinc.com.