MrSeb writes: "LG has just announced that it has begun mass production of the world’s first flexible, plastic e-ink display, with finished devices expected to hit Europe next month. LG says that these plastic displays are half the weight (14g) and 30% thinner (0.7mm) than the hard, heavy, prone-to-cracking glass-laminate e-ink displays found in e-book readers like the Kindle and Nook. The press release says that the plastic display survives repeated 1.5-meter drop tests and break/scratch tests with a small hammer, and that it’s flexible up to 40 degrees from the mid point. Technology-wise, it’s not very clear how LG’s e-paper actually works. The press release suggests that LG is using a conventional TFT process, which hints that they’ve cracked Electronics on Plastic by Laser Release (EPLaR). EPLaR is basically a technique of embedding electrophoretic ink capsules in a plastic substrate, but using existing TFT manufacturing processes, rather than building a whole new factory (unlike E Ink, which makes displays for the Kindle and other e-book readers). If this is the case, then other LCD manufacturers like Samsung and Sharp could start producing e-ink displays as well, hopefully driving prices down and further improving the display technology."
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