ePaper is going to have to evolve if its going to remain competitve, so seeing this new protype at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) was refreshing. The ePaper uses a thermal printer, the same kind as that used in fax machines the result is when the message is no longer needed, the paper can be erased with the flip of a switch. The epaper currently has a lifespan of260 times uses and they believe it is idea for the replacement for the paper signs and posters that are now produced by the millions around the world.
What makes the “i2R e-paper” stand out is its coating — a plastic film covered with cholestric liquid crystal, a type of liquid crystal structured similarly to cholesterol molecules. The compound does not require a backlight to print, and can produce different colors. It does not require patterned electrodes — it is very light, soft and rewritable. From this perspective, this is a true e-paper.
If you wanted to erase the paper, all you have to is connect it to electricity so what’s printed on the paper can be erased. There is also a modified printer that erases the paper by rolling it backwards.
An A4 sized piece of the e-paper, which is already in production, costs roughly $60 Taiwan dollars, or about $2. Developers hope it will be available to consumers within two years.
Here is a video showing the ePaper in action on a visit to ITRI Hsinchu research facility.