By repurposing and updating an e-paper technology from the 1970s, researchers from the University of Tokyo have created a cheap but tough new electronic display that can be written on with a magnet. This new e-paper could be used in low-cost, lightweight electronic whiteboards as well as traditional classroom blackboards, and its creators hope that it will eventually reduce our dependence on real paper.
Last week saw an electronic paper-toting wearable, known as the FES Watch, return to Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake. Having already succeeded in a previous funding effort back in September, the renewed project is being pitched as an opportunity for those who missed out first time around to get their hands on the product. While the campaign is well on the way towards its funding goal under its own steam, a Sony spokesman has revealed to the Wall Street Journal
that the product is actually an undercover effort from the struggling Japanese electronics giant.
When Yota Devices released the YotaPhone
last year, it was the first smartphone to feature both a standard LCD touch screen and an always-on electronic paper display (EPD) on the back. The Russian firm has now announced a new version of the device. The YotaPhone 2 features a larger EPD with full touch control, as well as an improved AMOLED color display and the Android OS.
Most popular e-readers
available today tend to be based around a 6-inch screen. Though you can
read technical manuals, textbooks (with graphics and tables), comic strips or electronic magazines on these devices, the roughly paperback-sized display does tend to feel just a little cramped. The Kno double-screened digital textbook
offered hope of bigger display real estate a few years back, but dedicated hardware was abandoned in favor of a multi-device app. Together with E Ink Holdings, Sony has developed a new flexible electronic paper display technology called Mobius, that will make its debut in a new 13.3-inch Reader prototype at EDIX 2013 in Tokyo between May 15 and 17.
Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has developed a highly flexible electronic paper that's both re-writable and re-usable, and like the Boogie Board
electronic memo pads, the technology doesn't need electricity to retain the screen image. The institute is currently in licensing talks with manufacturers at home and in the U.S., and has taken first prize in the Materials and Basic Science and Technology category of the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Awards.
According to University of Cincinnati electrical and computer engineer Jason Heikenfeld, there are two types of electronic devices: things such as e-readers, that require little power but have displays with limited performance, and devices such as smartphones and laptops, that display bright, full-color moving video, but that guzzle batteries. After seven years of development, however, Heikenfeld and collaborators from Gamma Dynamics are now presenting a new type of electronic display. They claim that their “zero-power” electrofluidic
system combines the energy efficiency of the one type of device, with the high performance of the other.
's new wireless outpatient registration and information system has just been launched. Should a user need to visit a medical center operating the system, slotting a chipped-card into a special device will wirelessly register the outpatient and provide information about a scheduled appointment, where to go and what wait time can be expected.
E-paper has some compelling advantages for the next generation of handheld and tablet devices. It provides an image which is very stable and easy to read in comparison to commonly used screen technologies, it consumes negligible power and is lightweight and paper-thin. Color paper arrived in 2007 but it hasn't really been good enough, until now. The principal developer of color e-paper
to date has been Fujitsu which has just announced a dramatic increase in color e-paper display quality. The technology will be shown this week at Fujitsu Forum 2010 (May 13 - 14 at Tokyo International Forum) and can be expected in Japanese market e-book readers and advertising billboards by Q3 this year.
There’s been a definite buzz around eBooks and eBook readers in recent times, and despite Asus challenging the price point
last year we’re yet to see what we’d guess to be an affordable enough solution to break the mass-market. There are some pretty tidy devices on the shelves though, with Amazon’s Kindle
proving popular enough to ‘go global’ last October, a move that has now been repeated with the spacious Kindle DX
Rather than using e-paper technology just for displays, the research arm of Dutch technology company Philips Electronics has developed a relatively cheap, light, thin and energy efficient means of turning the whole of the surface of a device into a digital canvas. E-skin technology could be used to change the color of a mobile phone when a call comes in, alter the appearance of a kettle when the water is boiling or even be applied to wallpaper so you can redecorate your room at the flick of a switch.