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05.19.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Paper-thin displays near commercial reality



The electronic "ink" in the super thin display contains tiny capsules with black and white particles with opposing electrical charges floating in a clear fluid.

Paper-thin display screens that can be folded, rolled or bound in a book is nearing reality.

After six years of development, E Ink of Cambridge, Mass. has developed an ultra thin screen—only as thick as three human hairs—that can display text with the resolution of a standard computer display. The screen is so flexible it can be rolled into a cylinder about a half-inch wide without losing image quality.

Such screens have been envisioned as pages bound in electronic books, as electronic newspapers and even as material sewn into clothing so users can read their e-mail on a sleeve. Eventually, the technology is expected to be able to display colors and, with improvements in speed, real-time video.

The electronic "ink" in the super thin display contains tiny capsules with black and white particles with opposing electrical charges floating in a clear fluid. When a voltage is run through circuits behind these capsules, the particles move. The human eye reads the resulting patterns of black- or white-topped capsules into text displayed in a traditional column.

For more information visit www.eink.com.

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