The following is a brief Summary of an interview with experts in e-Paper, including the "father" of e-Paper, Nicholas K. Sheridon (the gentlemen in the photo)
Research on e-paper started roughly 35 years ago. One of the Xerox’s teams led by Nicholas K. Sheridon invented Gyricon rotating ball display, which was the groundwork of the first e-paper. Xerox’s concept in the early 70s was the “paperless” office. However, more papers were used after the widespread of personal computers. Computer monitors are uncomfortable to human’s eye unlike ink on papers. Therefore, Xerox tried to develop e-paper, an electronic based paper that closely resembles ink on paper. Yet, 35 years since the invention of e-paper, it does not enter the market.
The reason why it took so long for e-paper to enter the market was because the early Gyricon technology was expensive and had a poor resolution. Newer solutions to e-paper are electrophoretic frontplane and cholesteric liquid crystal technology. Though, no current display technology is paper-like yet. E-paper has to be thin, flexible, and comfortable to human’s eyes while consumed minimal amount of power. One of the biggest obstacles is the cost of e-paper. There is no doubt that this technology will be widespread when it cheaper than 100$. Many companies such as E ink, SiPix, Polymervision, IBM, Sony, Siemens, etc. see e-paper as a promising technology. Thus, they continue to develop commercialized e-paper products.
Currently, applications of e-paper are used for advertising billboards, display screens for MP3 player or even on microwave. Also, e-paper can also be used as a new method for labeling foods and drugs. In the next five years, electronic signs and billboards made from e-paper should be widespread. In 2015, e-paper products should be available for most people and become a real mass market.
, image credit: Xerox)
Labels: e-ink, e-paper