Here’s something a bit different. The Microsoft Applied Sciences Group has built a prototype of a keyboard cover for tablets that includes a secondary E Ink display that offers some unique new ways to use a tablet and help make productivity easier.
It’s called the DisplayCover. It’s a new take on the two displays experiment. A few smartphones have started coming out with an E Ink screen on one side and a LCD screen on the other, such as the Yotaphone.
And of course there was the original Nook, which had a small color LCD display below the E Ink screen. The DisplayCover is kind of the opposite of that.
Atop the keyboard keys sits a 1,280 x 305 resolution E Ink panel that is touch sensitive. It can display app shortcuts and toolbar icons, it can detect stylus input, it can be used as a trackpad, and it can detect gestures like pinch-zooming.
Things like toolbars with Photoshop automatically appear on the E Ink display, maximizing the main screen space.
Emails can be viewed, written, and sent directly from the E Ink screen without changing the main screen.
The DisplayCover is still in the prototype stage. Below is a short video showing it in action.