Plastic electronics company Plastic Logic has demonstrated colour video animation on a flexible plastic display, which it claims is the first example of an organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) driving electronic paper at video rate. The demonstration proves that the potential uses of electronic paper extend far beyond monochrome text-based e-readers to more sophisticated tablet-style devices that can run colour video, while still keeping power consumption low. Electronic paper only draws power when the display is updated, making it very energy-efficient. It also reflects light in the same way as ordinary paper, so there is no need for a backlight.
Paul Cain, Plastic Logic’s senior manager for technology, said that playing video on electronic paper uses more power than static images, because it is updating all the time, but still uses less power than an equivalent display with an LCD backlight.
At the moment, the frame frequency of videos running on Plastic Logic’s plastic electronic displays is fairly low (12 frames per second), because increasing the speed can reduce the contrast of images. However, it is sufficient for simple video clips, such as Flash content on websites, and Cain said the company was working to improve this.