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Goodbye to gutenberg

The project focus is on developing electrophoretic writable display technology, capable of displaying colour digital information in realtime.

At present, no display technology exists with the same excellent reading qualities as natural paper. Natural paper with normal ink reflects ambient light, has a high level of contrast, and has a wide viewing angle of 180 degrees. Most displays nowadays are based on LCD (liquid crystal display) technology. This in an emissive technology, i.e. it has a light source (light is emitted). This consumes a significant amount of energy and the reading comfort is far less than paper. The applicants are convinced that they can develop a technology capable of being applied to displays and with the same characteristics as traditional paper. This will be the answer for digitalising the written media, which until now has been the last area of communication affected by the digital revolution. Nowadays, photo, film and music are available in digital formats, however the printed media is not. The market potential of full-colour electrophoretic display technology is enormous in view of its excellent paper-like reading capabilities, and is superior to LCD technology in many applications. There is also an enormous market potential for e-paper devices with excellent reading and writing capabilities. The main problems of this research and development project will be in two sub-areas: 1. Electrophoretic colour display technology; developing a display capable of imaging colours. 2. E-paper technology (read/write). The results from the multiple research and development activities will be transformed into mathematical models. Through the development of these models, the participants can create new universal platform technology to be used for the development of new applications. Another important deliverable of the research will be a laboratory prototype where the full colour electrophoretic display technology will be produced together with technology to address small clusters of particles within the microcapsules. In doing so, the 16 greyscales needed for high quality colour imaging can be obtained (in combination with rendering and dithering technology). The objective of this project is to develop new display technology with superior reading and writing characteristics compared to current LCD technology, reduced energy usage and consumption, and improved interactivity and portability. This project will also have a positive environmental effect given that through digital distribution of content, the need for paper and therefore the need for wood will diminish. Apart from this, emission rates of CO2 and NOx will decrease, as trucks will no longer be needed in the distribution process. The project will be coordinated by IREX TECHNOLOGIES B.V. All participants will be working closely together given the interdisciplinary character of this development project. Participating organisations have years of experience in their research area. The different backgrounds bring together the skills needed for digitalising the traditional publishing industry and developing electrophoretic display technology for use in many applications where high quality is required. Keywords: electrophoretic, E-paper, display technology.
Acronym: 
E-PAPER TECHNOLOGY
Project ID: 
3 596
Start date: 
01-06-2005
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
2 200 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Peripherals Technologies (Mass Data Storage, Display Technologies) related to electronics and microelectronics
Market Area: 
Books, cards and other publishing

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.