AU Optronics (AUO) ePaper at Display Taiwan 2009

auo_touch_epaper

AU Optronics (AUO), the largest Taiwan-based LCD manufacturer, will be showcasing its epaper display at the Display Taiwan 2009 conference that will be held in Taipei, Taiwan, June 10 to 12. The epaper display will be 6-inch in size and will use Sipix‘s Microcup technology with a pixel format of 800 x 600 in landscape mode. The 6-inch epaper display, similar to E Ink‘s technology, consumes power only when text and images are updated. Unlike most E Ink implementations that lack touch capability, AUO’s Sipix-based epaper display will be touch enabled. Touch, in my opinion, is a must-have feature for epaper displays to provide an experience that bridges the electronic from real paper.

According to Dr. C.T. Liu, Senior VP & GM of Consumer Product Display Business Group at AUO:

We are very optimistic about the potential of e-paper displays. They will fundamentally change people’s lifestyles across all sectors. E-paper technology will provide a paperless eco-lifestyle to consumers, enable businesspeople to acquire information in faster, more portable and convenient ways, allow students to enjoy easy “light” learning, as well as help store managers to reduce cost thru e-labels. We foresee a paperless era just around the corner.

I’m sure the paper industry will disagree with the last part of Dr. Liu’s comment. The problem is that the paper industry huge and will take considerable time to reduce. According to The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm, US pulp and paper chemical demand is expected to reach US$8.7 billion in 2011 based on a report published early last year. That’s just demand from the US.

I personally like reading a real book; the feel of real paper somehow enhances the experience. I prefer hardback because it lasts longer and has a quality feel to it that softcovers don’t have. Preferring real books to electronic books is not a bad thing. The bad thing is the pulp industry indiscriminately clear-cutting without serious thought to establishing sustainable business practices. Unfortunately, there will come a day when epaper is the norm and only connoisseurs with real money can afford real books.

Source: AU Optronics

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