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lg-epaper-1.jpg

altCES1.jpgOddly, electronics manufacturer LG chose not to announce their revolutionary-seeming invention — flexible e-paper in A3 size — at CES. From their press release:

LG Display has announced its development of a newspaper-size flexible e-paper. The 19-inch wide (250x400mm) flexible e-paper is almost as big as a page of A3 sized newspaper. The product is optimized for an e-newspaper and able to convey the feeling of reading an actual newspaper. Additionally, as the product measures 0.3 millimeters thin, the e-paper weighs just 130 grams despite its 19-inch size.

LG Display arranged TFT on metal foil rather than glass substrate, allowing the e-paper display to recover its original shape after being bent. The use of a metal foil substrate makes the e-paper both flexible and durable while maintaining display qualities. In particular, LG Display applied GIP (gate-in-panel) technology which integrates the gate driver IC onto the panel. This improves its flexibility by removing driver ICs which are attached to the side of panel and hinder the bending of the display.

Any thoughts on why they didn’t want to wow the crowd at CES? What are the odds that this technology will spawn a viable product anytime soon?

[via Dvice]

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


  • btwo

    Do they actually have a working prototype, or just the tech?

  • Chris W

    I wonder what kind of metal foil allows “the e-paper display to recover its original shape after being bent?

    • Inventorjack

      I’m curious about that, too. I could understand perhaps rolling it up, and retaining the original flat shape, but folding it seems unlikely. You can’t even do that with regular paper or many plastics that I’m aware of without at least some leftover crease.

  • Maha

    Yeah, i could see flexible but not bent/folded. Like a sheet of printer paper or something.. Too far and it gets a permanent crease.

    Maybe they didn’t show it at CES because it isn’t ready for up-close viewing yet : /

  • gyziger

    Am I the only one that finds e-paper newspapers to be horribly expensive and inefficient? Imagine the devastation to the paper mache industry!

    • Inventorjack

      Awesome comment :)

      This does make me wonder, though, how long a e-newspaper will last. Will I need to buy a new one weekly? Monthly? How much wear-and-tear can one of these things take?

      So many unanswered questions. I want to get my hands on one and try it out.

  • Elemental LED staff

    These look pretty user-friendly, but why not just read the news on a lightweight laptop? By the times these are mainstream, laptops will weigh next to nothing, since they (well, Apple at least) are working on ultra-thin circuit boards and screens.

    • Grindle

      This technology is probably able to create higher contrast images that laptop screens can. The kindle, similarly, has a higher contrast screen than a laptop. The higher contrast increases readability, making the product more desireable.

      This product also has appeal, because it mimics paper so successfully. If it were priced appropriately, it could probably access a larger consumer group than laptops could, similar to the Wii, with its more accessible controller, accessing a larger consumer group than consoles with conventional interface methods.

      This product may also be able to retain a given display without requiring power, whereas a laptop currently consumes energy the whole time you’re reading.

  • Andy

    In one of his recent blogs over at the NY Times, Pogue made the argument that, with the bloat of announcements at CES, it’s the WORST possible place for a company to announce a product, since it will be lost in the sea. I can’t say I disagree.

  • Marco

    I am not versed enough in newspaper history to know the evolution of A3 paper size, although I believe tabloid sized papers are A3 folded in half. I am just wondering if this is a temporary holdover for us fogies used to handling the NY Times or Wall Street Journal. Is it a relic to comfort older users that younger users accustomed to reading news in other form factors will find quaint? I like paper but would probably be just as annoyed about getting hit on the back of the head on the train by epaper as by regular paper.

  • John Baichtal

    Marco, A3 is analogous to tabloid — 11.7×16.5 inches versus 11×17.

    • Marco

      John,

      Oops, you’re right, as is apparent in to picture. Thanks for the correction.

      Still I think my question stands; is this some sort of bridge technology to make more traditional minded consumers more comfortable? or is this a format that will stay?

  • Marco

    John,

    Oops, you’re right, as is apparent in the picture. Thanks for the correction.

    Still I think my question stands; is this some sort of bridge technology to make more traditional minded consumers more comfortable? or is this a format that will stay?