Kirk L. Kroeker "Technology, too, obeys the law of responding, of answering a call at whose origin we are encountering so much static." -- Avital Ronell

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Electronic Paper's Next Chapter

By Kirk L. Kroeker

The technological challenge for researchers working on the next generation of electronic paper is to render color as brightly as traditional paper, without increasing power requirements or end-user costs.

Electronic paper, first created in 1975 by Nick Sheridon at Xerox PARC, has begun to proliferate in consumer electronic devices in recent years. Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader, two notable applications of the technology, have transformed e-paper into a mass-market phenomenon. New uses for e-paper technology, such as in advertising, wristwatches, smart cards, and even enhancements for computer peripherals, are cropping up regularly. The presence of e-paper in consumer electronic devices is increasing not only because of its minimal energy requirements, making it ideal for low-power devices, but also because its display quality approaches that of the printed page.

(This article appeared in CACM, vol. 52, no. 11, Nov. 2009, pp. 15-17.)

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