"Electronic paper" edging toward reality
"Electronic paper" has long been hyped as the future of newspapers and books, but products like e-books have been slow to take off. That may soon change, say executives involved in the pioneering technology.
While Internet companies are scanning libraries of books and making them available online, E Ink Corp., which emerged out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a decade ago, is seeing a surge in orders for its portable, foldable displays that mimic conventional paper to carry such books.
"Nine different companies launched products last year based on the technology," said Russell Wilcox, E Ink president. "In the last nine months we've gone from manufacturing tens of thousands of parts to millions of parts."
Among those products are Sony's (6758.T) Reader tablet, whose black-and-white displays can be read in bright sunlight or a dimly lit room from almost any angle -- just like paper -- without traditional back-lit screens that chew up power.
"E Ink could threaten to displace the cheap and ubiquitous LCDs... and... Electronic billboards..."
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