e-Paper Getting More Paper-like with New Breakthrough

e-paper technology image

Image via video screen grab from video by Jason Heikenfeld, University of Cincinnati via Technology Review; "Tiny reservoirs containing ink sit inside each polymer pixel in a new type of electronic-paper display developed at the University of Cincinnati. A voltage applied across the material quickly draws the ink out and spreads it over the entire pixel area."

Advocates for going digital with books have latched on to e-readers such as the Kindle. These devices use e-Paper, a display that intends to mimic the look of paper so that your eyes aren't strained, and the power consumption is drastically reduced. However, e-paper is still a bit dimmer than actual paper and ink, and there is less contrast. That might all change with new progress being made in low-power display technology.

The new display, made by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio, is designed to match the brilliance and contrast of paper. "We've demonstrated a technology where you have the brightness of paper, and color has the same saturation that you expect from printed media," says electrical- and computer-engineering professor Jason Heikenfeld, who led the work, which was published in Nature Photonics.

While paper reflects 85% of ambient light, this device only reflects 55%, but that is still far and away better than other e-paper devices on the market right now. Also, the display can refresh quickly enough to enable video on e-readers and other devices using the display technology. The researchers are looking to put the technology in devices via Gamma Dynamics.

With so much research like this going into low-power display options, we'll soon have e-readers that use the tiniest amount of power to give us a very book-like reading experience.

Via Technology Review
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