A US company called Plastic Logic unveiled a lightweight electronic newspaper device this week that can be updated automatically over wireless connections. The device is to be manufactured in Germany.
Printed newspaper reading could soon become old-fashioned
The as-yet-unnamed device is the size of a piece of standard printer paper and the screen allows users to annotate documents and will offer the option of embedding video.
The new invention was shown off at an industry event called DemoFall in San Diego. It is due to go on sale early next year and is expected to be embraced by newspaper publishers eager to cut the costs associated with printing and distributing paper editions.
The device uses technology from E-Ink, the company that also powers electronic readers from Sony and Amazon. But the screen of the Plastic Logic gadget is built with transistor arrays on flexible plastic surfaces that are lighter, stronger, less expensive and more environmentally friendly than the silicon-based systems in use until now.
The plastic reader is designed to store dozens or hundreds of business documents on a very thin digital reader. It can store e-books, magazines, newspapers, PDF files and all kinds of information, the company said.
"Even though we have positioned this for business documents, newspapers (are) what everyone asks for," said Richard Archuleta, Plastic Logic's CEO.
The company is due to open the world's first commercial-scale plastic electronics manufacturing facility in Dresden on Sep. 17. The factory is expected to immediately prepare for production of the reader.