E-paper to reinvent print media

If you thought paper will soon be a thing of the past, think again. Now there will be a paper of the future, and you won't have to worry about recycling it -- it does that on its own.

Lucent Technologies and E Ink are collaborating on a futuristic product that the companies describe as electronic paper. It could become a new format for printing and distributing newspapers and books.

The electronic paper will actually be flexible plastic sheets made through a process similar to ink-on-paper printing, Lucent representatives said in a statement on Tuesday. The plastic sheets will be covered with plastic transistors developed at Lucent's Bell Labs. They have the same properties as conventional silicon chips, but are flexible and can be printed onto plastic.

E Ink's electronic ink, the other key component of electronic paper, is made of millions of tiny microcapsules filled with dark dye and light pigment that change colour to form images when charged by the electric field created by the plastic transistors.

The electronic paper could be instantaneously updated with the latest edition of a newspaper or other traditionally printed media through a computer link, Lucent says. The same technology could also be used to create wafer-thin screen displays for digital products, such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants.

Two years ago, Bell Labs researchers demonstrated a silk screen technique that printed a plastic transistor on transparent film. The goal of the new collaboration announced Tuesday is to produce a paper-like film that is as flexible and easy to read as ink on paper, Bell Labs researcher Pierre Wiltzius says.

E Ink is currently testing an electronic ink technology in its large-area Immedia signs, which are being used in several retail settings. The Immedia displays, which are cheaper than LED displays or LCDs, will be available next year. The displays are based on silicon chips, but E Ink says electronic ink is compatible with Lucent's plastic transistors.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Margret Johnston

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?