Colour flexible e-paper set for advertising

This colour electronic paper from Korea is the first to reach A4 size

We've seen plenty of products recently that use electronic paper on a small scale. But none as impressive as the flexible A4-sized colour e-paper announced this week by LG Philips LCD of South Korea.

The 14.1-inch device is 0.3mm thick and can show 4,096 colours. Although this is nothing like as vivid as a normal LCD display, it represents a major breakthrough in e-paper technology.

The previous-generation of A4 e-paper was a monochrome sheet unveiled just twelve months ago. Prior to that, LG Philips developed the world's first flexible monochrome display, a 10.1-inch device, in October 2005.

All-round view

A metal foil substrate replaces the glass usually found in LCDs, allowing the new display to be bent and to recover its shape afterwards. Naturally, a viewing angle of 180 degrees is necessary for the e-paper to remain visible whatever shape it is moulded into.

On the environmental front, the device uses electronic 'ink' from E Ink , which means it consumes power only when the on-screen image changes. Other product information, such as refresh speed and likely pricing, were not given.

LG executive In-Jae Chung made the announcement, saying: "The potential applications for this display are incredible and will allow our customers to create new products that are not only convenient to use but also save natural resources. This represents the next generation in display technology."

Those applications are likely to begin with advertising using the new e-paper on non-flat surfaces, such as street furniture and various kinds of in-store display. As a result, analysts expect the flexible display market to be worth around $12 billion (£6 billion) by 2015.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.