What are E-Paper displays and How They Radically Transform the Reading Experience

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E-paper displays offer the best reading experience as they look just like printed ink on paper. It is a quickly developing technology in this modern world and has been gaining quite a lot of popularity. With the e-readers like Amazon Kindle garnering the attention of millions of users, e-paper displays have come into limelight of late, though they have been existence for quite some time.

What is E-Paper Display?

E-paper display (electronic paper display) is a kind of display technology that is designed to imitate the look of ordinary ink on paper. It is quite different from the typical flat panel displays that are backlit in which; these displays reflect light like an ordinary paper.

How it Works?

Electronic paper displays make use of an optical element of a film known as electronic ink, which is made up of several minute microcapsules, each of which is just about the human hair’s diameter. Each of the microcapsules contain white particles (positively charged) and black particles (negatively charged), both of which are suspended in a clear solution. An electric field is applied now. Depending on whether a negative or positive electric field is applied, the corresponding particles shift to the peak of the microcapsule. This is where it becomes visible to the user. It makes the surface appear black or white at that particular spot.

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Electronic paper displays are advantageous when compared to the conventional displays in many ways:

  • E-paper displays are more comfortable for reading than the normal displays, thanks to the wider viewing angle and the stable image, which doesn’t need constant refreshing
  • Since it reflects ambient light instead of emitting its own light, there are no issues related to glaring when read in direct sunlight.
  • Flexibility and improved readability
  • Low power usage and high contrast


Though there are a host of advantages that this e-paper technology offers, there are also some disadvantages-

  • Refresh rate is low relative to other low-power display technologies like LCD
  • The shadow of a picture may be seen even after refreshing. Such a shadow is known as ghost image and this effect is called ghosting.

Sony’s Latest E-Paper Display

Sony has recently released a new e-paper display at the 49th SID International Symposium Exhibition. This 13.3 inch color e-paper was designed with a thickness of 150 microns and weight of 20 grams. It displays a 3D image without using any kind of glass. As of now, they haven’t yet commercialized this new technology, but looking at its promising potential, no points for guessing that the company would certainly try to capitalize upon this brilliant technology.

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Future Applications

This futuristic e-paper display technology finds applications in e-newspapers, e-books, status displays, electronic shelf labels, and information boards. With further advancements and development, it is likely to find its way to an even large number of applications.

There are many other companies that are currently working on development of similar e-paper display devices, and most likely we’d see a handful of them in the market over the next couple of years… Soon, it could become like the tablet market, and the competition could get stiffer if the big guns like Apple decide to enter the battlefield too!

At this point of time, only Sony and Amazon seem to be the only two big guns battling it out in the arena, but it may also be possible that the likes of Samsung could be following their foot-steps silently, and would come out with a major announcement about their own e-paper display powered devices shortly. So, keep a close eye on this promising technology over the next few months.

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Author Bio – Victor Dubov is a hardcore gadget lover who has a fetish for the latest smartphones and cars. He happens to be a social media marketer cum web designer by profession, and we strongly recommend ucallweconn to those who’re in need of an affordable international telephony service.

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