Flexible electronic paper could be future of public advertising
Flexible displays are still a novelty at this point in time, as they have yet to be turned into a component in smartphones and tablets that are cost effective to warrant inclusion without causing the customers to balk at the final price tag. Still, it is nice to see companies continue to work on flexible display technology, and hopefully they will stumble upon a low cost yet effective approach sometime down the road. Both Toppan Printing Co Ltd and Plastic Logic Ltd recently showed off a prototype of flexible electronic paper (e-paper) that has a size which is equal to a 42-inch display, using it as a large-size digital sign at Retailtech Japan that happened earlier this month in Tokyo, Japan. This unique flexible e-paper was manufactured by using 16 pieces of 10.7-inch black-and-white e-paper, where the pixel count stood at a respectable 1,280 x 960.
In order to churn out a display device that is worthy of the e-paper, E Ink Holdings Inc’s electrophoretic front plane laminate was summoned to report for duty. As for the front plane laminate, it was driven by an organic TFT substrate which was manufactured at Plastic Logic’s Dresden Plant in Germany. Plastic Logic has long been working on flexible organic TFT substrates for the better part of the last six years, and they successfully established a volume production system a couple of years back, and has since been producing organic TFT-driven displays by using the 3.5th generation-size plastic substrate.
At the R&D facilities, a single piece of 10.7-inch e-paper was used per substrate, although at the manufacturing plant which saw the 3.5th generation-size plastic substrate being used, up to 9 pieces of 10.7-inch e-paper were obtained per substrate, and Plastic Logic figured out that the e-paper will eventually see action on subscreens of smartphones and tablets, as well as the digital signage industry. The ad industry would definitely take a huge leap forward with such e-papers being more affordable.