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Something to think about... / blog
The Future of Epaper

Written by on October 20, 2008

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Epaper technology has been around for a long time, but has not yet reached the right level of sophistication. It is used in popular devices such as the Amazon Kindle, but it only works in black and white, and page updates are fairly slow. That, however, is going to change.

Just take a look at this short clip from Vin Diesel's latest movie "Babylon A.D."

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This is of course not real. But this kind of technology is a lot closer than what you might think. The next generation epaper will not only support full color but also update fast enough to render video - or in this case dynamic interfaces.

One of the leading companies in this field is Liguavista. They are working on a technology called Electro wetting. This technology totally obliterates the LED's. It is a lot brighter, so bright that it can be used in sunlight conditions. Like all epaper it uses very little power. It is a lot better at rendering color. It can be viewed from any angle and it has a much better contrast. And, it is highly flexible and bendable.

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Another company, Qualcomm, has already created a working version of color epaper. And it is being used in this "underwater" MP3 player. While not the prettiest thing on the planet, it does work in sunlight conditions at any angle, and since it is a passive display it requires almost no power.

Imagine the possibilities you have when a screen has the same physical properties as paper, combined with advantages with the digital world. An display might no longer be a screen.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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