Gigaom

How is a Kindle(s amzn) like an octopus? A new research paper from a University of Cincinnati team explores the parallels between animals that can change color and e-paper screens on devices like the Kindle.

“E-paper still lags behind biological systems in optical performance, especially in color generation,” the paper’s authors wrote, “which is not surprising because biology has had more than a 100-million-year head start. As a result, some e-paper technologies are now attempting to emulate optical effects already perfected in nature. Therefore, e-paper engineers should be examining equivalent biological systems in greater detail.”

The authors caution that “comparing a squid and an Amazon Kindle e-reader is not highly meaningful” (though it makes for a great headline) but “important comparisons can be made between the function and performance of biological pigments and reflectors, and similarly functioning synthetic pixels and components.”

A University of Cincinnati press release distills the paper’s findings. Animals…

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