"Electronic paper — the future of media?"

It may come as no surprise that, just like everything else lately, paper costs are also rising. So the obvious next step for Japan is to start making electronic paper—or more accurately, high resolution displays. These displays are so thin that they can be bent, rolled-up, and of course, re-used, offering an environmentally friendly answer to Japan’s paper resource problem.

E InkElectronic paper photograph courtesy of E ink

The rising costs of paper are largely attributed to the growing need for printed matter from emerging markets such as China and India. According to Ryosuke Kuwada, Vice President for E-Ink, the company manufacturing this paper-like display, says that “nations like India and China are consuming so much paper as their economies expand that the cost of A4 size paper is up 20-30%.”

The black and white ink-on-paper look, combined with a resolution in excess of most competitive display technologies, Electronic Picture Displays (EDPs) give the display an appearance similar to that of the most widely read material on the planet—newspapers.

Many commentators suggest that the era of the old-fashioned printed newspaper is dying out and that the Internet is replacing everything but perhaps this technology will enable newspapers to carry on with roughly the same formula, albeit in a more environmentally efficient way.

E Ink: www.eink.com

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