E-Paper or Electronic Paper Display is pretty much similar to an ordinary paper. Then why E-Paper??
There are a lot of advantages with E-Paper, when we compare with ordinary paper ink, it can be electrically refreshed and written upon millions of times.
E-Ink takes advantage of interactions between computer processors and charged black and white particles. Unlike traditional displays like LCDs, LEDs etc… These E-Papers have an advantage of more readability, are flexible and these use very low power .
To get all these advantages together there are a few compromised features like low touch screen capability and less responsive than comparable LCD screen devices. E-Paper manufacturing companies are working to overcome these disadvantages..
The Electronic Paper technology is very futuristic and has a high potential in reducing the usage of paper indirectly saving the environment by not using thousands of trees for the manufacture of paper. E-Paper only use a limited power and can store thousands of books in a single portable device. This means you almost have a whole library in your hand.
After knowing all these interesting and amazingly useful advantages, you must be curious to know about the working of this E-paper right!
Firstly, There are two popular companies manufacturing E-Paper “Electronic inks” – E Ink and “Xerox”.
The e-ink looks very similar to normal ink but it has millions of tiny microcapsules also known as cavities, and are filled by an ink substance. There are pigmented chips or balls there balls are actually the colours that are displayed on the screen. Let’s say white and black. These ball are with a negative charge floating inside the microcapsule. The ink would cover the entire page and the page is made out of some kind of ultra-thin plastic separated by cells that resemble the cells on graph paper.
These cells are like pixels on a computer screen and each and every cell is wired to the micro level electronics embedded in the page made of ultra thin plastic. Using the basic concept, positive attracts negative or unlike poles attract, these microelectronics would then be used to apply a positive or negative charge to the microcapsules to create the desired text or images. For example, let, all the black balls are negative and all white balls are positive, then when a positive charge is given then, as per the instruction the black balls appear on the screen accomplishing specified task of presenting an image or a number etc…
Likewise, when an electrical charge is applied to the microcapsules, the chips will either rise to the top or be pulled to the bottom. When pushed to the top, the chips make the capsules look white; when they are pulled to the bottom, the viewer only sees the dark ink. Patterns of white and dark can then be created to form words and sentences.
Even more colours other than white and black are also coming to E-paper. There are plenty of gadgets which take the advantage of E-paper like Yotaphone 2, Pebble smart watches, Amazon kindle and also there are many stores which use e-paper to display product prices and other information instead of LCD and LED screens…
This has a lot of scope for development in the coming years! Let me know what you think!