The last few months have seen a shift in Plastic Logic’s business interests that have changed from production of consumer electronics to marketing its own e-paper technology to electronic companies. A few days ago, BBC reported the Cambridge research and development facility and also provided an insight into various glorious aspects of the flexible e-papers.
Plastic Logic has taken a major risk by betting only on the e-paper technology. Qualcomm made the same mistake by relying heavily on Mirasol technology which failed to make its impact, as only 4 companies purchased the technology. Hanvon and Kyobo have also left the electronics market while Bambook and Jin Yong do not provide shipping outside China. Pixel QI is another company which has seen the same situation. The company boasts some excellent high tech but it has never made its way outside China.
In a report recently presented by BBC, an insight into the new flexible e-paper technology was presented. The screen with 1 million transistors and more than 4,000 colors shows the capability of maintaining its flexibility and screen quality at the same time.
The super thin e-paper has been designed using a plastic material. These electronic paper sheets are extremely lightweight, flexible, energy-efficient and employ e-ink technology to display visuals and videos on the screen. This e-paper is designed to receive the content through a wireless network. It works with a simple touch and with a small flick pages will fly, just like a book. This technology is currently under development and will get a commercial air in the upcoming year.
BBC reported the production procedure of this sheet in detail. According to the report, a sheet of glass applied with a sticky-back plastic is subjected to a series of steps until it arrives at a finished transistor structure – the back plane. It is then stuck with other media at the front; in this case with an e-ink display. The glass is then removed and connections are added in the lab. Ranging from black and white to color displays, the e-ink layer is just one way to take advantage of the flexible screen. This sheet can then be connected to smart phones via Wi-Fi for easy display of the content.
BBC reporter talked to the CEO of Plastic Logic, Indro Mukerjee who further added: “We need flexibility so that the consumer can carry e-paper around in a very easy and straightforward way. The e-paper needs to be durable, needs to be rugged, very lightweight and needs to be low-power. This is an excellent accessory for smartphones where you can then expand the content that your otherwise would be limited to read on a smartphone screen, onto a larger screen”.
Indro Mukerjee also said that Plastic Logic is working with more companies to ensure that all non-flexible electrical components will be made onto “one edge of the display and have the edge as a kind handle if you wish.”