Technology

Are Disposable E-Readers in Our Future?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

People who have paid a couple of hundred bucks for Kindles and Nooks might be angered by this story -- disposable e-readers are being developed.

Engineers at the University of Cincinnati have come up with a process called electrowetting, which is a variation of the technology behind current e-ink screens. As the tech web site Engadget describes it:

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This new version of that technique enables the creation of e-paper on actual paper, requiring no glass or fancy circuitry and, in theory, creating displays nearly as cheaply as magazines are printed today, opening the door to disposable e-readers and the like.

After demonstrating his findings so far, Dr. Andrew Steckl predicts displays on the paper would be fast, full-color and would last a user up to seven days. Not only could the reader be folded up and shoved in your pocket for convenience, but it is also cheap and environmentally friendly.

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Steckl is now looking for a commercial investor to develop the device further. If he gets the money, this technology could be available in as little as three years.

One question remains: Isn't the whole concept of an e-reader to allow its users to download multiple books/magazines/newspapers on one device? If e-readers are disposable, aren't they in effect just another version of the paper products we have today (which don't go bad after seven days, mind you).