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Like many others, I long for the day when we have a display which does not shine light at your eyes from behind the screen. That is, a display that looks just like a sheet of paper, but capable of changing the picture that is on it. The natural way to accomplish this would be to place a transparent LCD screen on top of a white surface. I know, a white surface will appear white only if an adequate amount of light can be reflected off it and this might be hard to achieve if the white surface is behind the LCD layer. My question is whether this problem can be solved using the kind of light guide found in the Kindle Paperwhite. Can anyone please tell me why one cannot sandwich a light guide layer (which directs light from some LEDs on the edges onto the white surface --- and not towards the user) in between the white surface and LCD panel? Won't this be a display that does not make you look directly at a light source?

P.S.: I know this does not make a display that is sunlight-readable or more energy efficient than current LCD displays. But I would still like to know if this is even possible.

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Everything a persons sees is "light" striking sencors on the back of thier eyballs, even if it is e-ink or amoled or florescent or led being filtered with light valves. Did you try turning down your monitor backlight, and decreasing the contrast? Unfortunatly many monitors do not support the actual light turning down, and instead only have ability to close the light valves. It might be cheaper to get a monitor (say like IPS) that Does allow for that adjustement. When you get tired of looking at a glowing box, try a different background color via accessability features, and theme changes. – Psycogeek Jan 1 '14 at 13:07
Turning down the monitor backlight actually increases my eyestrain. This is because on most, if not all, LCD monitors, the luminous intensity of the backlight, which is either LED or CCFL, cannot be controlled. The illusion of "dimming the backlight" is achieved by flickering the backlight (LEDs or CCFLs) at a very high frequency. This flicker is not visible to the eye, but it still causes eyestrain (at least to some people). Like you said, what I do now is to turn up the backlight to the max, and then use colour adjustments to reduce the glow from the screen. – Mathew Jan 6 '14 at 2:57
Ahh the PWM (pulse width modulation) method of reducing the percieved light, I understand. – Psycogeek Jan 7 '14 at 22:03

Great strides are being made with OLED technology; it's in just about everything with a screen these days and it (coupled with a lot of new light based technologies) is what you are thinking of.

prototype 'smart paper' makes use of OLED technology as well as the iPad/Pod/Phone/etc..

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