This post is part of the A to Z Challenge, in which each day of April a post is made inspired by a letter of the alphabet. Each post will be related to the research done on upcoming trends for the near-future techothriller series Shadow Decade.
Electronic paper is neither electronic, nor is it paper. Actually, no, that’s a lie. It’s absolutely electronic. But it’s not paper.
Okay, let’s start over.
Electronic paper is an electromagnetic display that incorporates thin film transistors. So while not paper, it is paper-thin, and as flexible as paper.
As of 2016 the primary use of electronic paper has been in e-readers, but as nifty as the stuff is, one of the big hurdles is that it doesn’t really look like paper. It looks like a screen, and it can be difficult to read under certain light conditions. This will change as the technology develops, particularly in terms of contrast ratio.
This opens up the tech to a wide variety of other uses to look forward to in the next few years, including high-quality video ID cards, self-lighting road-signs, adaptable labeling on consumer goods, and textiles with mobile displays.
Imagine, for example, a beverage whose label not only told you what was in the drink, but also what temperature it was at, how much liquid was left in the container, and even if your soda had gone flat.
All with an animated mascot.