back to article iPAD, KINDLE, all tablets and slablets MADE OBSOLETE

Brainboxes in Ohio say they have ended the tablet wars before they've even really begun. No more will harassed consumers need to weigh up the benefits of e-ink versus LCD or LED vid-capable screens. No more will bank accounts be plundered by the need to purchase costly glass-based displays of either type. Instead, no more than …


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  1. Matt_V


    Hmm wonder how you could control the display (ie go to the next page) still sounds promising!

  2. Luke McCarthy
    Thumb Down


    I prefer the idea of tablets than throwaway, single-purpose displays. More electronic waste.

    1. RobE


      This development is significant and substantial. It will enrich content (as well as the environment) like never before - especially in educational sectors and media. I look forward to the unexpected applications that rear their heads... eg, clothing with displays, sign posts, interactive displays, interactive wall paper, adaptive camoflauge on vehicles/clothing, interactive floor tiles which light up (a la Michael Jackson's video), etc. The possibilities are staggering with something that is so much cheaper to product and implant into surfaces.

      I have followed e-paper for a while on sites such as newscientist and IEEE spectrum and of course elReg - This is a game changer for sure!!!

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


        Adverts and stupid displays, all the shite we could do with less of!

        So we finally start to make a difference in keeping poly-bags out of the landfills, now we have to deal with the ad-agencies pumping out tons of e-waste, electro-paper cack full of pointless drivel, all to make a few bucks!

        Glad your so happy about bending the environment over, for one more rodgering!

    2. Code Monkey

      My thoughts exactly

      Well done to the boffins for coming up with something that clever; but we really don't need more landfill.

  3. DuncanL

    "Real soon now" forever

    This is one of those classic bits of tech (like flying cars and wristwatch phones) that are regularly announced as going to change the world in a few years.... yet never actually materialize.

    Get back to me when it's actually really, really possible - not just a glimmer in a boffins eye.

    1. Anon the mouse

      yet 1 of the 2 is available

      I frequently use a wristwatch phone, its perfect in meetings, it's easy enough to read a text while "checking the time".

    2. Adam Foxton

      Flying cars

      were done in the 50s and will decrease in cost and apparent (i.e. user-visible) complexity as UAV tech gets better understood and becomes more mainstream. They're more "roadable plane" or "car-cross-paraglider" but still- it's a car that can be flown.

      Wristwatch phones have been around for years and can be had for like £60 now (as an example,

      Better examples would be Jetpacks (which aren't commercially available) or Nuclear Fusion (which has been 30 years away from large-scale power generation for the last 50 years).

    3. Jord


      "This is one of those classic bits of tech (like flying cars and wristwatch phones) that are regularly announced as going to change the world in a few years.... yet never actually materialize."

      Wristwatch phones have been around for several years.... :

  4. PowerSurge

    Yet another

    promise of a new display technology to replace everything we've seen before. I don't suppose we'll hear about this ever again either.

  5. a53


    And using "Star Trek technology, we'll be able to beam it it anywhere instead of using the mail.....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No ZZZzzzz icon

    This is another technology that's been consistently 5 years away for over 10 years.

    The work mentioned, while interesting, does not change this that much: three widely separated blobs of water/ink on a roll do not make a hi-res display.

  7. Tom 7

    I'd like one of those

    as a peripheral device for my 8 core arm netbook - assuming the powers that be allow us to have what we need and not what they want us to buy again and again.

  8. lucmars

    That would be nice indeed

    A lot of people use paper before using their computer, so...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Steckl believes that future display devices could be rollable, feel like paper and deliver books, news and colour video in bright-light conditions."

    A scrolling display! With REAL scrolls!!

  10. AlgernonFlowers4

    Does this meant that.........

    in the future the toilet will be as paperless as the office?

  11. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns

    Thrown away...?

    I hope you mean "recycled." I don't want my Council fining me for chucking out loads of unrecyclable paper along with all the RFID tags and food packaging.

  12. UKDB
    Paris Hilton

    Electronic Trash

    So "Brainboxes in Ohio" have found a way to replace reusable pieces of tech like Tablets with a rubbish generator like epaper, that you can just 'throw away' at the end of the week. More Electronic junk for the pile.

    Morally corrupt? Electronic Trash? Disposable hype that might never really take off?

    ... We'll always have Paris

  13. Linker3000

    Oh - great..

    That's the concept of the 'paperless office' well and truly stuffed.

  14. jubtastic1

    Five years

    "I've solved the interesting research problems. The rest is just business, which is easy, right?"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    display isn't the problem

    Once you have a disposable paper based e-display, you still need some means of controlling and powering it.

    Until negligibly cheap, paper thin, batteries and control circuitry can also be added, it will need some kind of housing, immediately making it pretty pointless to use rollable flexible paper.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: display isn't the problem

      "it will need some kind of housing, immediately making it pretty pointless" ... unless the housing is a pen that unfurls into a paperback-sized screen, of course.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "Until negligibly cheap, paper thin, batteries and control circuitry can also be added, it will need some kind of housing, immediately making it pretty pointless to use rollable flexible paper."

      An Israeli outfit do paper based batteries which don't need a case (electrolyte dissolved in middle paper layer).

      The chip transistors remain a problem.

      Plastic Logic anyone?

  16. Atonnis


    ...this wouldn't have been co-developed by Moeller would it?

    Things that make you go 'hmm'...

  17. morphoyle

    TO: Stupid people making comments

    No one said that you couldn't recycle these things. "Throw Away" doesn't have to mean going in to the garbage pile. I swear, half of the people that comment on here just do it to complain. They would find something to complain about no matter what, I think.

  18. Blubster


    But will it be soft enough to wipe your arse with? You could be sat on the bog reading an article and when you've finished said article, recycle it as toilet paper.

    Funny that, that's what we used to do it in the 50s & 60s with the News of the Word. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe we'll finally get "Earth Final Conflict" style roll-up displays.

    Roll up displays make far more sense, and should be more portable/transportable that current flat or projection displays.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    One of the biggest complaints...

    One of the biggest complaints against the current e-readers are they are not like books.

    This technology would be great to get over that issue.

    Imagine a real "book" made from sheets of this new paper.

    You load up a story, the text is written to each side of the sheets in the book and you read a proper book.

    I find the idea quite tantalising. Some people may say "Well what's the point of that?".

    Reading a book is a tactile thing as well as the act of reading.

    People like the smell of a new book, the feel of the binding, turning the pages.

    If you can replicate this experience and make a book effectively "programmable", I can see that taking off.

    Good luck to them.

    1. jubtastic1

      Diamond Age

      You mean like an Illustrated Primer? Count me in.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Bags of potential but very much v0.1 tech.

    It would be a good idea to go with a flexible, very cheap, broadly available and in principle recyclable core substrate.

    So much display tech *looks* promising until you see the $100m ultra high vacuum processing hardware to make the substrate (which it usually turns out needs to handle 500c+ processing while flattening it to a surface roughness < 1/2 a wavelength of light) work.

    This stuff looks a little more room temperature with equipment in the 1000, rather than the 100s of 1000s.

    But it's still a *long* way from something in a catalogue. LCD is no longer alone and others have already got some traction.

    Cautious thumbs up. No certainty we'll hear *anything* more from it.

  22. Matt Piechota

    Roll up

    If it rolls up into something the size of a small flashlight (er, torch), water bottle, or a large pen, I'm game. That should give them room for the battery and chips...

  23. bugalugs

    This tech will not fly

    in the e-reader postulated imho. Add weight to the above cited problems. There may be other applications for the technology but then I must say I like what's printed_on paper to stay_printed on it.

    The multitude of e-readers ( ) and their advancing hardware and programmability ( limited mainly by one fundamental but correctable flaw as far as I can see* btw ) will speed their market penetration such that the " scroll " project will be irrelevant. If the Ohio boffins are lucky, it may be a first step to somewhere else.

    * Interested ?

  24. Ascylto
    Big Brother

    Build it and they will come

    CRAPITA will tell the UK Governmint this is the way forward.

    UK Governmint will pay CRAPITA £64,000,000,000.

    CRAPITA will scrap the system but spend the money.

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