Bend it like e-paper

Amazon has just released its latest and greatest Kindle (the Kindle Oasis) sporting the best e-paper display yet thanks mostly to improved lighting through a greater number of LEDs. But for the next Kindle, Amazon could be shipping a brand new type of e-paper display inside its popular e-reader. That’s because a Chinese company has managed to use graphene to create e-paper that’s brighter and more flexible than anything currently available.

Guangzhou OED Technologies says it has created the world’s first graphene-based electronic paper display. Due to the high-light transmittance made possible by using graphene, Guangzhou’s e-paper is thought to be much brighter than the best alternatives, for example E Ink, can offer. Graphene’s strength allows the display to be more flexible, meaning a greater range of products could use it. Guangzhou is also claiming its e-paper will be much cheaper to produce because it uses graphene where as existing displays rely on the expensive metal indium.

Guangzhou markets its e-paper displays under the O-paper brand. The images included here are of existing O-paper displays as no images of the graphene-based display have been released yet. It is likely to be branded a new O-paper product, though.

For now, Guangzhou is stating production will start “within a year,” so we may see a graphene e-paper display used in an e-reader before the end of 2016. If it’s as good (and cheap) as Guangzhou is claiming, then it will probably find its way into the next Kindle Amazon decides to release, which surely won’t arrive for at least a year.

I’m hoping that the additional strength and therefore flexibility means we finally get a roll-up e-paper device. LG teased us with flexible and color e-paper back in 2010, then AOU and Sony did the same in 2011, and yet still no flexible devices are available. Will 2016 be the year it finally happens? I hope so.

By Matthew Humphries for www.geek.com

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