The technology-impact on future demand for paper from the current
generation LCD screen-based technology intended to substitute for books has
been considered by many to be minor due to the inconvenience of the bulky
However, according to the 1/4/00 Wall Street Journal ("Will the Future
Be Written in E-Ink," p. B1) there is a new technology for producing
written images electronically beamed from afar onto a paper-like device
that is the thickness of a piece of foam board. It works by electronically
arranging an array of very small balls which are black on one face and
white on the other with the black side signaled to face up when the
appropriate signal is received by a thin antenna and readout by an embedded
chip, writing letters using "e-ink".
The leading company with the process is called E Ink Corp., and it is
said to have gotten closer to the starting gate than Xerox whose famed Palo
Alto Research Center (which developed but did not profit from the
windows-like interface and mouse) originally developed the idea in 1973.
In any event, it may be that this is the killer-technology which has
the potential, when looking out five to ten years into the future, to
significant impact what we have known as the recycle stream in which 70-80%
of the flows have historically been fiber.
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