Flexible e-paper will display animations

A research team in Taiwan has announced that it has developed a new type of flexible electronic paper that is able to display animations.

The e-paper uses an active electrophorectic display (EPD) controller chip which has been researched by  professor Kao Wen-chung at the National Taiwan University’s System-On-Chip (SoC) Lab, which offers improvements to the highly portable technology which can be bent, folded or rolled up.

According to Kao, the EPD controller chip will allow animations to displayed in electronic books as it utilises a real-time image processing engine, which means that it will also be able to view items such as electronic tickets and menus.

Other e-books would usually use hard materials for display, such as the Amazon Kindle which is unable to display moving animations, while certain devices marketed as e-readers which use a TFT-LCD require backlighting, making prolonged use uncomfortable.

The new technology avoids these problems by intensifying image contrast and increasing color sharpness, using 16 gray levels to 256 gray level on the display, which makes the e-paper even more easy on the eye.

Kao and his team are expected to unveil the e-paper in the US sometime next month, according to the Taipei Times, which will be followed by filing an application for a patent right.

Sadly, while the impressive technology would welcomed by e-reader users it will apparently not be ready for mass production for four to six years.