Electronic Paper — Paper Route
Other devices are on the horizon and, depending on how the iLiad and the Sony Reader fare, will likely start hitting the market before long.
The U.K.’s Plastic Logic has announced a variety of e-paper developments over the past few years. The company is taking the lead in a developing—in the U.K., at least—thin, flexible, low-cost plastic electronics via pre-existing manufacturing (that is to say, printing) equipment. Plastic Logic also is developing flexible e-paper displays that could be used as labels or as RFID devices.
Plastic Logic says that it had created the world’s largest flexible active-matrix OLED display. The 10˝, 0.4-mm-thick display—also based on E Ink’s technology—has a resolution of 100 ppi and four levels of grayscale. In October 2006, at Frankfurt’s Plastic Electronic 2006 show, Plastic Logic demonstrated a 150-ppi SVGA display.
According to the company, Plastic Logic is developing relationships and partnerships to work the displays into actual products.
In 2005’s original spate of proof of concept announcements, Polymer Vision, a spin-off of Philips Research, demonstrated prototypes of the Concept Readius roll-able display. The monochrome, 320x240-pixel, 5˝ Readius is the first prototype of a functional electronic document reader whose display can be unrolled to a size larger than the device itself. The Readius uses E Ink’s bi-stable electrophoretic display, and is based on Polymer Vision’s own rollable display design. The company is working on a 7˝ model, which it believes will be the optimal size for the mainstream market.
Polymer Vision admitted that it hadn’t intended to commercialize the Readius itself, but was instead eager to demonstrate the capabilities of its rollable display technology and then let others develop the next- generation mobile devices and other products that incorporate it. How-ever, 2005 was the last time we heard of the Readius or Polymer Vision.
Initially, Amazon.com’s failure to carry the Sony Reader was somewhat conspicuous...until we learned that they have their own e-book reader poised for release. The Amazon Kindle E-Book Reader weighs 10.5 ounces, has a 6˝, 800x600-pixel display, 256MB of RAM, a keyboard, scroll wheel, mini USB port, SD slot and a headphone jack.