It’s never too late to go green and it’s always a good sign when technology experts take an eco-friendly approach to things. The i2R e-Paper from Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) appears to be paving the way for a greener environment.
When we said e-Paper, your mind might have wandered to e-Readers that have displays needing low power and offer lots of readability. But the new e-Paper from Taiwan comes equipped with a lot of cool properties.
ITRI’s i2R e-Paper, which is a highly flexible electronic paper, is both re-writable and re-usable. It has a plastic film covered with a cholestric liquid crystal and it does not require any power to retain an image; although it does not help to completely stay away from electricity. For printing on the e-Paper a thermal printer, such as the one you would find in a fax machine, is required. The heat from the printer helps in the writing process. The printer heats up the liquid crystal layer and makes the molecules light or dark. The 300 dpi resolution that we will get is quite fine. The compound can produce different colors as well. And to erase everything, you just have to run a printed e-Paper sheet through the printer again. The writing and the erasing processes will, obviously, require power, but that can come from the sun.
The researchers at ITRI say that the bendable, thin plastic product is re-writable up to 260 times and research is going on to make it last even longer. The developers believe that their new product will immediately replace paper used in the production of items such as advertising banners, ID badges for corporate visitors, parking lot tickets and so on.
The low cost of production and low power consumption are enough to make it popular. And it’s also more environment-friendly than printing on traditional paper. Adopting the technology will definitely save tons of trees, lets just hope it doesn’t use a heap of other rare earth metals.
Check out the video to see the e-Paper in action.