LG Looks to Launch Flexible e-Paper
Claims that paper is dead are multiplying, but just how comfortable do you find those fancy e-readers? The Kindle just too bulky for you at 6 oz.? I suppose you think the Nook is even worse at 7.5 oz. Have no fear, LG is coming to your rescue with an e-reader so light you might forget you’re holding it.
Researchers at the electronics company have managed a breakthrough in what they are calling electronic paper display (EPD). EPD is basically an e-reader on an extremely thin piece of plastic that is flexible. Until the recent thin film transfer (TFT) breakthrough, LG hadn’t figured out a way to mass produce EPD to make it a viable product.
The new TFT process uses temperatures of 350°F (around 177 °C) similar to the way LG manufactures LCD screens. By applying the process to heat susceptible plastic, the company says it was finally able to overcome the mass production barrier. The result is a 6-in. XGA (1024×768) e-reader that is 0.7 mm thick and weighs 14 grams. The new device was also able to survive drops from around 5 ft. without suffering damage.
With the world’s first plastic EPD, LG Display has once again proven its reputation for leadership and innovation with a product we believe will help greatly popularize the E-Book market. Based on our success in mass-producing plastic EPD, we are excited as we look toward applying concepts from this experience to future developments like plastic OLED and flexible displays. –Sang Duck Yeo, head of operations for LG Display’s Mobile/OLED division
Specs for the new e-reader will be handed over to manufacturers in China, and LG hopes for an initial release in Europe sometime in April. No word yet on a North America release, but if the EPD does well in Europe, it’s bound to start cropping up in stores across the pond before long.
Below you’ll find a short video that takes a look at flexible displays.