In January, Inhabitat reported that LG was planning a flexible electronic newspaper that would cut down on the tremendous amounts of paper used to produce daily newspapers. Today, it was announced that the e-newspaper, which has a 19-inch flexible display, is expected to be put into production by the end of this year. The ‘bendy e-reader’ will look and feel just like a newspaper page, but will be able to update itself with the latest news and even issues of your favorite magazines.
LG’s new flexible e-ink display can be rolled up and put in your pocket or satchel, and it is hoped that the e-reader will reduce the vast amounts of paper and water used daily to produce newspapers. LG’s new technology allows the e-reader to be bent and then return to its original shape.
In addition to this next generation e-reader, LG is also working on increasing the production of their 9.7-inch IPS LCD screens, which are used in Apple’s iPad. The 9.7 inch color screen is also used in Amazon’s Kindle DX e-reader. With e-readers and iPads becoming more and more popular, LG are ramping up production to meet increasing demand.
However, while e-readers may cut down on paper usage in the short term, there are concerns about the level of energy needed to power them. Devices such as colored e-paper could potentially be much more expensive than getting a daily newspaper and consume far more energy — especially if the battery is inefficient. However, the Kindle has shown that long battery life can be achieved, and if LG’s flexible e-paper does not require back-lights like traditional LCD screens it could be highly energy-efficient.
For this writer, there is a definite advantage to having a device such as this, especially in the age of 24/7 news — printed newspapers run the risk of being out of date the moment you pick one up. Devices like the iPad and the iPhone have made 24/7 news a reality for many, but LG’s new device trumps both e-readers in terms of convenience. A roll-up e-reader would definitely have its advantages — it just depends whether its battery life and efficiency justifies its cost.