electronic paper

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electronic paper

(1) A generic term for an extremely thin flexible display that can be rolled up. There are several technologies in the works, and this type of display is expected to become mainstream by 2015.

The Smartphone in a Pen
This OLED display screen unrolled out of a pen may seem far fetched, but such products are expected to be commercialized in a few years (see OLED). (Image courtesy of Universal Display Corporation, www.universaldisplay.com)

(2) A paper-thin display technology that uses charged black and white elements oriented toward the viewer when a charge is applied and which retain their formation without power. The first electronic paper was developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (www.parc.com) in the 1970s. It used a thin sheet of Xerox Gyricon plastic, containing millions of charged beads with black and white hemispheres. When the paper was fed through a "printer," a voltage pattern was applied, and the beads were oriented toward their black or white side, or half way for gray. Although the Gyricon Media Inc. subsidiary was created to develop the technology, it never worked well enough to become a product.

Another Approach
In the 1990s, another electronic paper technology was developed at MIT Media Labs that placed the black and white elements inside a microcapsule. E Ink Corporation was created in 1997 to further develop and market the method, and it succeeded (see E Ink).

The First Electronic Paper
Nick Sheridan, who invented the electronic paper at PARC, and Fereshteh Lesani show the first roll of paper produced by 3M. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center.)

As Sharp as Paper
In 2008, Epson demonstrated a super-high-resolution prototype display using E Ink technology. At 385 dpi, this 13.4" display provides an outstanding 3104 x 4128 pixel resolution. (Image courtesy of Seiko Epson Corporation.)
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References in periodicals archive ?
The all-new Kindle also includes updated electronic ink technology for better contrast and now uses capacitive touch to prevent accidental swipes on the six-inch, 167 ppi display.
There is Merlin's E-Book Reader which uses revolutionary electronic ink on a greyscale screen that can be seen in direct sunlight and doesn't need to be recharged for days on end, even under heavy use such as reading e-books.
"It tends to be the fact that if you are making an electronic ink you look to sell it for enormous variety," said Dr Harrop.
Kindle and Kindle DX are portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a high-resolution electronic ink display designed to look and read like real paper.
The Hearst Group helped finance the E-Ink start-up, and its research in the area of electronic ink, beginning in 1998.
So-called "e-books", such as Amazon's Kindle, the Sony e-Book and the iLiad, enable you to read on a device lighter than a paperback but with electronic ink. The e-book can be read comfortably in almost any light conditions, including on beaches.
iSign is a versatile and powerful software developer's kit for implementing applications using electronic ink, electronic signatures, biometric signatures and basic cryptography.
You can write on the screen in smooth electronic ink and Flybook automatically converts your handwriting into text.
The use of electronic ink in the clock display enables a wide viewing angle of approximately 180 degrees, with a bright and high contrast, allowing high visibility even in a dark room or under direct sunlight.

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