Could there be new hope for print newspaper lovers? Consumer electronics company LG will launch a plastic electronic paper display (EPD) in Europe this April, Mashable reported.
The EPD is 6 inches in size, 0.7 mm thick, scratch-resistant and has a resolution of 1024 x 768, the article said. And, unlike technologies that use glass screens, such as tablets and e-books, LG's e-paper can be bent up to 40 degrees from the center, the article said.
According to Extreme Tech, the display uses e-ink, the technology used in e-readers such as Kindle and Nook. Using e-ink is especially beneficial to manufacturers, the article said.
“Unlike flexible OLED displays, which have been around for a while, e-ink displays are cheap to produce and can run for months on a small battery,” the article said.
ComputerWorld reported in November that both LG and Samsung debuted prototypes of flexible displays at an FPD International event in Japan. While LG’s e-paper used e-ink, which relies on surrounding light, Samsung’s version used OLED, a technology in which pixels generate light when charged, the article said.
The Samsung screens were displayed inside curved glass cases, clearly demonstrating their flexibility, the article said.
Extreme Tech speculated that flexible e-paper could mean radical changes for e-books and digital newspapers and magazines. Last January, the LG R&D said it had produced a 19-inch flexible e-ink color display, about the size of a newspaper broadsheet, Extreme Tech said.
Flexibility could very well be the EPD’s greatest asset. For consumers who prefer reading print newspapers and magazines, a thinner, more flexible product that resembles paper much more so than a tablet might be just the technology to sway them into the digital market.
As we previously reported, many newspapers are currently offering ePaper replica versions of their print papers on smartphones and tablets for those who remain attached to the print experience. With a full-size flexible EPD screen, replicating print versions for digital reading seems even more plausible, if not preferable to a scrolling app design.
Will electronic paper catch on? LG's trial-run in Europe may provide us with a clearer picture.